“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"

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Tuesday Briefs: Felix Feriae

Amarillo Globo-Noticias?: In what has to be one of the more improbable events to occur in Amarillo, a con-man was arrested for selling advertising in a non-existent Spanish language version of the Amarillo Globe-News.

What makes this story so ridiculous is the well known (one had thought) hostility of the existent Globe-News to the Hispanic community and the invasion of immigrants and non-English speakers into the United States. For Less Simpson to even entertain the notion of a Spanish AGN before the universe reaches infinite entropy is simply absurd. One can well imagine him responding to the idea suggested by the scam not with a “no” but with a “hell no!”

No doubt he and his xenophobic gangsters are laughing at the suckers who fell for this one.

Banning Democrats: Anything about the Potter-Randall Democratic Club is banned from the Amarillo Globe-News. But once the public library decided to ban the club from their premises the club finally got a mention in a
skiffing editorial from D*ve Kanelis. Has anyone checked lately to see if Hell has frozen over?

This latest attempt to turn Amarillo into a one-party town comes courtesy of complaints, no doubt bi-partisan, that the club had, after a decade of meetings, violated library policy on electioneering.

D*ve Kanelis, in his typically John H*nryesque way, does not mention that if any one has been “guilty” of electioneering it is Republicans, including Ron Paul, Swinford and Thornverysmallberries.

But why note any of this when it is Democrats you want to make the low-browed heavies and the librarians the enlightened liberals in this most conservative of towns? Thankfully you won’t find a more informative,
independent account of events.

Besides, what real use are these temples of knowledge, these repositories of intellect called libraries anyway? One imagines H*nry has never perused a library’s shelves except for books to ban, nor Simpson darkened one’s door but for bonfire kindling. Kanelis at least has probably been through some of the greater works -- and corrected them to AP Style.

Feliz Navidad: In the Ciudad de Yellow an anonymous admirer
salutes City Hall and the Civic Center for again putting up those twinkling holiday decorations in defiance of those dark and unnamed forces out to ban red and green light bulbs and sleigh Santa.

But it is remarked that a crèche (spelt crche by
Van Camp and not corrected by dd (or maybe that’s AP)), a hallowed nativity scene beloved by right thinking and true faithful residents, suffered a legal challenge and was “regrettably” given the axe some years back. Our learned anonymous editorialist frets that our most Christian community isn't celebrating a most Christmas Christmas in all its full-blown religious glory on public property.

There is something in the First Amendment that addresses this issue, but our nameless scribbler, despite the countless civics classes he has slept through, cannot find “separation of church and state” in the Constitution and is therefore unable to interpret it in anything but a juvenile and crabbed way.

The Cat’s prat cannot grasp the concept that government should keep out of the business of determining or influencing faith or matters of conscience, and that these should be beyond the political will, and thus the tyranny, of the majority. Only because our religious faith is protected from twits like Cat’s prat and his fellow dims do we enjoy the religious freedoms we have.

A hearty Saturnalia to all, and to all a good night!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

the teenage noel

It is well-known that the Gospels skip over most of Jesus Christ's life. There's an episode in a synagogue when he was twelve, and then suddenly he's thirtysomething.

But one night, buried deep in the Apocrypha, I discovered several accounts of Christ's life as a teenager. Among the more interesting tidbits: from these accounts come the first known appearances of the lyrics of a popular Christmas carol, said to have been uttered petulantly by the Christ himself when he was fourteen years of age:

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel!
BORED is the King of Israel!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Another person from Amarillo, not an asshole, that I may have met but don't recall and would like to meet.

Hal Don House -- Hal seems like a sensible guy to me. Hal's column about the insensible laws that impose harsh penalties on those who suffer the illness of addiction makes good sense to me. This coming from a man who spent years working in the law enforcement and treatment field, so his word carries some weight.
Not surprisingly right wing judge James Farren chimes in with his notion that the war on drugs has been a great success. Guess he's worried his job might disappear if the laws against drug users change.
The "War on Drugs", proposed by Reagan, but carried on by every president since, including Clinton, has been an utter failure. In fact since Bush Jr. brought back mass poverty to the third world sectors of our cities we now have a drug problem more acute than ever. Read about how half a trillion dollars thrown at the problem did little or nothing to stem the tide of drugs into our society.
I will say that House may have some things to say I don't necessarily like, as he did in his letter that suggests the Ku Klux Klan be allowed to speak in Amarillo. I don't really disagree with House's letter, but I think a more proactive approach is best in the case of hate groups. I suppose the Ku Klux Klan does deserve their opinion, as long as I get to go to their public assholefests with the biggest loudest bullhorn I can find.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

People I Like, that are not assholes, that I would like to meet, that I may have met but don't remember -- In Amarillo

I thought about writing about more Amarillo assholes but decided that my level of rage has dwindled. Blind violent neocon jerks can all sit around and stew in their hatred of Muslims, Immigrants, Homosexuals, and basically anything not white upper class prosperity evangelical America for the rest of their sad lives without my help. Instead, since it's Christmas I'm going to write about some people I haven't met -- unless I met them and just have such a post 70's brain I can't remember. Here is a profile of one person I think I might like from Amarillo. Hopefully since I might have some time over the holidays there will be more.

Pat Childs -- I don't have a picture of Pat, but I imagine she's a motherly type. I can see her with arms outstretched gathering her grandchild into her arms, giggling as the baby smiles. I like Pat because she realizes why many Iraqis dislike America so much. She understands that no war that sends a quarter of a country's population scrambling for the border is winnable.
Pat also seems to know that there is something seriously wrong with George W. Bush, maybe it's dyslexia. She's smart enough to understand how the greed driven Neocon Bush has fought tooth and nail to line the pockets of industrialists while laying waste to every ecological system where a dime might be made. She even had the foresight to understand that the arrogant bully Bush was scamming our nation into the invasion of Iraq.

Merry Xmas and a very Happy New Year Pat.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The War on Christmas Part MMVII

We still have a few days to go until Xmas arrives, but I'm going to go ahead and declare George Maliha the winner of the just-now-created Most Paranoid War on Christmas Letter to the Globe-Republican.

Some of my favorite highlights:

Nothing has been spared from this attack. Some Santas have been instructed to say "Ha, Ha, Ha" rather than the classic phrase, because of the latter's negative connotations.
Why wouldn't Santas say Ho, ho...ooooh, I get it. Gangsta "hos". Har har. Seriously, who comes up with this crap?
Christmas trees have been usurped and are used by atheists as "trees of knowledge."
Trees of knowledge? WTF...
Many people have said that the "War on Christmas" is a ploy meant to distract us from more pressing issues.
Yeah, I would be one of those "many people." Meanwhile, in the Land of Stuff That Actually Matters:

Bargain houses largely unsold
Another foreclosure record was set in November as 1,336 properties were offered to the highest bidder on the courthouse steps in Modesto, Merced and Stockton.

Now here's the real surprise: Only 17 of them sold, despite lenders offering deeply discounted prices.
ECB lends banks $502 billion
Nearly 400 banks take up central bank's offer to supply year-end funding; money market rates ease.
Fed gives $20B to banks in credit crisis
The Federal Reserve is providing $20 billion in loans to banks as part of an unprecedented auction process to ease a global credit crisis and make sure financial institutions can keep lending to their customers.
Morgan Stanley Posts Loss on Writedown
Morgan Stanley, the No. 2 U.S. investment bank, reported a $9.4 billion writedown on Wednesday from bad bets on mortgage-related debt, leading it to take a $5 billion infusion from an arm of the Chinese government.

Biggest Amarillo dickheads

I just got my new edition of Rolling Stone and enjoyed reading Bill Maher's list of the thirteen biggest assholes of 2007. In honor of Mahar's stellar work I'd like to start a list of the biggest Amarillo assholes of 2007. Since I'm lazy, I'm just gonna do one today and you guys can fill in the rest. So here goes.

Mary Chumbley, pictured here with here cooking club mates, once again rang in the year with a slew of misinformed crap. Privately refered to as Mary Dumbly (I got this name from a Globe News Editorial staffer BTW), Chumbley never met a piece of right wing paranoia she didn't like. With her cooking club she stewed up racial hatred, grilled Clinton for the war in Iraq, fried up a mess of support for torture, and carved up a platter full of illegal aliens by blaming that group for soaring medical costs. So I feel certain Ms. Dumbley has earned a place on the role of Amarillo's biggest Assholes.

Great God! I thought it said...

Well, you know what I thought it said.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

we built this pyramid on rock and roll

(Amarillo, Texas) In the midst of the growing economic crisis facing Panhandle Truth Squad, I holed up last week in my offices in the sky, at the very tip of the pyramid. As I am wont to do, I drank 100-year-old Irish whiskey and gazed down at the fabled intersection of Tenth and Burr. As the Bushmill's neared the lower half of the bottle, I reflected on how much had changed. Amarillo had been revitalized, in our time. I looked down at a city that never schlepped, a teeming metropolitan nightlife that would have once been unimaginable.

But I found myself longing for the old days, when We Built This Pyramid to be the highest thing ever to rise over the Best Lighted Main Street in America. To get where we were today or rather, to get where we were the day before, before the stock crashed and the investors started wailing and gnashing their teeth we had to tell literally thousands of the sorts of rambling stories that run into one another, none of them coming to much of a conclusion. We had to mix up a few metaphors along the way.

We fought some battles, didn't we? We should probably have know better. But, hell, we were allowed to our opinions, weren't we? Even in the Texas progressive blogosphere? And, as I stared down at the drunken masses, I realized that we had yet another story we probably shouldn't tell

. . .

We were at a Christmas party, talking to one of my S.O.’s colleagues. Somehow the subject of a, um, home-schooled relative of the colleague came up. This poor girl was home-schooled all the way through grade twelve, and after that her parents wanted to send her to a Good Christian School.

But the parents were apparently a bit sheltered as well because the Good Christian School they ultimately chose was S.M.U.

Now, I went to S.M.U. for two years. And I was there for a full year before I really even realized that the school had any religious affiliation whatsoever. I was hanging out in the Student Center, listening to OMD on my Walkman, one bright fall day, and I passed a girl talking to a grad school representative on the pay phone. That's what we used in those dinosaur days: pay phones. That's what we listened to: Walkmen. Anyway, the bow-headed pay-phone-talker said something about “Southern Methodist University,” and that’s when it hit me.

Oh, I remember thinking, that’s why we have the God Quad.

But, even in the God Quad, it’s not like there were legions of fundies and Bible-thumpers running around forbidding us to dance. I may be slow, but I think I would have picked up on the nominal religious connection a lot sooner if there had been.

. . .

Not long after the Christmas party, the S.O. and I went around collecting kids from various friends and relatives. We ended up with a five-year-old, a two-and-a-half-year-old, and a fourteen-month-old. (Spacedark Jr., age fourteen, hung around for awhile and then went to the mall.) After watching the fourteen-month-old lurch around Casa Spacedark for awhile, I determined that there were two eras in life that were very similar: the few months after you first learn to walk, and freshman year in college. During both periods, you experience an exhilarating sense of freedom. You run around knocking things over and putting other things into your mouth, just to see what will happen. You fall down a lot in public. You make incomprehensible sounds. And so on.

The young lady who naively went to S.M.U. because it was a Good Christian School after a lifetime in homeschool was experiencing that exhilarating freedom without adequate preparation.

Hell, I went to Caprock, where kids constantly offered me drugs and daily tried to peer-pressure me into stabbing Prodigal Son with a switchblade knife, and I still managed to suddenly decide I was Hunter S. Freaking Thompson the second I arrived in Dallas.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Panhandle Truth Squad Announces Massive 4th Quarter Losses

Amarillo, TX - Amarillo-centric blog Panhandle Truth Squad, at a press conference held at their headquarters at 10th and Burr, left, announced massive 4th quarter losses today, citing turmoil in the housing and credit markets as prominent factors. "We regret that we have been forced to write down $10 billion in assets," said PTS spokesblogger blogarillo, "however, we can assure our readers they will still have access to the highest quality smart-ass commentary available in the Texas Panhandle."

In an effort to recoup losses PTS has stated between 30,000 and 50,000 employees will be let go. The layoffs were described by PTS as "regrettable." Blog watchdogs have been sharply critical of the layoffs, noting the large executive compensation packages enjoyed by the senior blogger staff. PTS defended its policy, noting that millions a year in salary, along with stock options, platinum health care, private jets, yachts, second homes, ranches, teenage strippers and mountains of top-notch Columbian blow were all in line with current executive compensation standards.

Friday, December 14, 2007

We're not allowed to meet there, either

...but, of course, we showed up with a case of Scotch and a bottle of Luna di Luna the size of the Chase building downtown.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

I'm going to take a shower after this post

This may or may not be worth a complete post. But it's sorta political and sorta funny in a grinacing kind of way. So, without further ado, attached to this post on this blog, our nominee for 2007's worst comment.


There's a reason others don't give that opinion.

Dav* H*nry, left, wants to start some shit with, well, somebody:

What is interesting is the "punks" mantra - individuality, rebelliousness and non-conformity. A freshman sociology major could poke holes in the "punks" creed. "Punks" conform just as much as the poor slob trudging off to work every day in a shirt and tie, carrying a brief case. How can you be an individual when you look just like everyone else in your social group? Let's see: Body piercings, tattoos, spiked hair, an affinity for skateboards and loud music - better conform to these attributes if you want to be a "punk."

Does anyone else see the irony in belittling a subculture then lamenting why we, more or less, can't all just get along? Apparently Dav* doesn't. Adolescent remarks like that were probably the beginning of events that eventually escalated to Brian Deneke's death.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


GO WATCH. Funny or right wing wet dream?

-Prodigal Son

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tuesday Briefs: Tush and Bush

·Double-D Standards: D*ve H*nry’s column on government intervention, private property rights and a sexually oriented business should be read in every journalism school throughout Texas. It is an excellent example of why journalists should strive to be clear in their writing, and why being clever and witty is best left to the professionals. In his attempt at sexual similes H*nry actually outwits himself into near meaningless entenuendos, no mean effort for a bona fide halfwit, which is why he should also leave sex to the professionals or get more practice when he’s alone.

The Amarillo Globe-News and H*nry especially have long defended the sacrosanct private property rights of business owners, particularly when it comes to smoking and any whiff of ordinances. Even county government intervention to clean up a public health menace troubles him greatly, though its owner has taken no action for years.

Contrast this with his treatment of a sexually oriented business (SOB for short), which he thinks should be stripped of its license. Our stout defender of commerce, our upright champion of business owners who may do anything they please, seems to have gone limp on this one. Perhaps if Henry saw their smoking vagina section in peril he would come to a different conclusion.

·Blow Job: John Kanelis wrote such a stumbling fumble-bum of a column with
"Single-member issue back again" that it was thought he was writing a cryptic work of satire to deceive his masters, or since it was so stumbling fumble-bummed it was actually penned by D*ve H*nry.1

While Kanelis seems to recover nicely in
"Booze ban doesn't protect anyone", a reasonable bit on Canyon’s archaic system of “dry” alcohol sales, he fails to resist the H*nryesque urge to conjure up an AGN championship theme -- Amarillo’s failed anti-smoking ordinance:

“opponents complained that government should not dictate to business owners whether they should allow smoking in their establishment. [ . . . ] I sense a similar logic between those who opposed the smoking ordinance and those who would lift the phony "ban" on alcohol sales in certain jurisdictions.”

Kanelis’ sense of logic is much like H*nry’s: co-opted to the AGN. The motif of business owners defending themselves against an intrusive government is little more than a smokescreen for the Amarillo Globe-News’ crusade against anti-smoking efforts. They would ban tits in private but will do anything to maintain butt sucking in public. To that end Kanelis, sensible but empty sweater that he is, blows smoke.

1[Cat’s meow, I do believe my “did you write this or D*ve H*nry?” question to John may have offended him. Do let your ex-hubby -- our hero -- know there are no hard feelings. And John, if it is any consolation, maybe you are capable of writing your own tripe.]

·Dipstick: Ralph Henson, notorious hamster-brained conservative, got his panties in a twist because Bob Ray Sanders compared Henson’s Bush to President Pervez Musharraf, who declared martial law in Pakistan. A little side-by-side between a constitution ripping president and his dictator ally just flames the nuance-challenged Henson, who sees it as spanking Bush unnecessarily and of the worst sort:

“I thought, even if we disagreed with him, that our president deserved some respect; not vilification and constant mudslinging and name-calling.”
Oh where was this deserved respect for that pimp-murderer-rapist we had ten years ago?

Henson believes Sanders “should never present an unknown or a lie as the truth” and that he "should recant and resign.” I guess Henson, having repeated lies as the truth himself, will recant and resign. Oh wait, never mind. The Amarillo Globe-News will spread their pages wide and let right-wingers bugger the truth as always.

Saturday, December 08, 2007



Fair-minded, just and true, who no matter how violent the red-faced howler monkeys shriek and shake branches and throw scat, will never see nor hear nor speak evil of their thick-skulled and small-brained fellows.

“Celebrate Your Monkey Ancestors Day!”

Friday, December 07, 2007

Formerly Known As...

(for some reason Yahoo's advanced spam filters refused to send our message, titled "HOT SEXXXY NIGERIAN KINGS - REPLY WITH PAYPAL ACCOUNT INFORMATION" to much of the PTS mailing list. You may have received our e-mail forwarded from Demophoenix. Please RSVP for the map and address.)

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

7:00 pm
Saturday the 8th of December

Write panhandletruthsquad at yahoo dot com for the address.

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


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Not "Monkey" Ancestors!

Even though we plan to observe “Celebrate Your Monkey Ancestors Day” with others of like mind, since we in no way shape or form subscribe to the proposition or belief that the Earth was created in 4004 BC at 9:00 AM on Easter Sunday Central Standard Time1 and that modern man is descended from Adam and Eve, my wife and I as strict evolutionists cannot in good conscience allow the term “Monkey Ancestors” to be invoked without comment.

This is not to put a damper on what may well be an evening of “monkeyshines,” or to force whimsical nomenclaturists to go “ape,” but to correct an egregious error, whatever the court’s decision in the infamous Scopes Monkey Trial -- WE ARE NOT DESCENDED FROM MONKEYS!

Nor are we descended from apes. Humans and apes evolved from a common ape-like ancestor, which in turn descended from an ancestor in common with the monkey’s antecedents.

If we are to honestly celebrate our pre-human ancestors we must honor Australopithecus afarensis, Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Pierolapithecus catalaunicus
and Proconsul africanus, the last now extinct for 25 million years.

And as we do so let us also recognize that however long they have turned to dust, no matter how much natural selection has reshaped us, we as their living progeny still carry within us their genetic history. Their DNA remains inside our genes, silent, dormant, yet ready by some fluke of the genetic code to reawaken and find expression.

Here someone has an extra tail bone, legacy of a misty past when we clambered about the trees. There someone has the heavy brow ridge and sloping forehead of the prehistoric traditionalist who fought the use of fire and tools and language. Large canine teeth or excessive body hair are also atavisms, or throwbacks, to a time long before Stouffers and Burlington Coat Factory.

We need only see the reconstructed features of the primitive primate fossil below to recognize how far we have come. As we look upon brittle stone rendered into flesh, let us wonder upon this slender twig of the family tree. Too small-brained to compete on its own, its kind surely reached a dead end eons ago.

So let us “Celebrate Your Monkey Ancestors Day,” taking comfort in the knowledge that this cretinous little creature, and any throwbacks to it, is not one of our own.

1This was 6,000 years before the invention of Daylight Savings Time.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

They're Baaaaaack

Texas Creationists and their allies in the American Auto De Fe movement have been working hard to build a bridge to the 15th Century. The creationist Guv appointed a creationist to head the state board of education and now have pressured Chris Comer to resign.

Who? The TEA's director of science curriculum.

Why? She had the unmitigated gall to send an email pointing out a talk by Barbara Forest. An Anti-creationist.

So what! Why fired? Because doing so "implies that TEA endorses the speaker’s position on a subject on which the agency must remain neutral.”

Anywho, I posted on this below, but now Texas Citizens for Science has posted an evisceration of the TEA The money quote:

"The real reason she was forced to resign is because the top TEA administrators and some SBOE members wanted her out of the picture before the state science standards–the science TEKS–were reviewed, revised, and rewritten next year. Plans are underway by some SBOE members and TEA administrators to diminish the requirement to teach about evolutionary biology in the Biology TEKS and to require instead that biology instructors “Teach the Controversy” about the “weaknesses” of evolution, that is, teach the Creationist-inspired and -created bogus controversy about evolution that doesn’t exist within legitimate science. There are no scientific weaknesses with biological evolution as the natural process is understood by scientists. At the level at which it is taught in high school, evolutionary biology has no weaknesses, gaps, or problems. Therefore, it is duplicitous to pretend such “weaknesses” and “controversy” exist."

Toquemada much?

-Prodigal Son