“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"

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

How to Be an Opposition Party: Part 2384

Or rather . . . how to be the governing party, part: 5622

Been thinking about this for a while, but yesterday John Cornyn (R-Amphibian) said that senate rethugs are going to try and stop Al Franken from being seated. Whatevah, but . . .

Ya know, with the world's least accountable as well as mediocre news media celebrity industrial complex, it's all about controlling the show. And who can throw up a screen of outrage like the right?

Mitch McConnell (R-Confederacy) hollered against helping Detroit. driving wages for working families down further.

Even Senator Arlen Specter (R-magic bullet theory) is threatening to drag out Eric Holder's nomination as attorney general.

Remember the Democrats the last two years? With a MAJORITY for Chrissakes? Gonzales walked away, as did Rummy, Powell, etc.

Lest we forget all the get out of jail free cards handed out, here ya go.

It's time we faced up to it. We can't be respectful to rethugs, and expect to get it back. Ain't happening. This is the same crew who placed Jim Jeffords pictures in urinals at the Capital Hill Club. YEP, they did. These POS' also HACKED the democrats computers. AGAIN, YES!

This country deserves a break.

I therefore propose the "Temporary American Republican Relief Act of 2009" where you cannot filibuster in the senate without 49%, republicans can only caucus in the cafeteria of a local DC high school, when CONVENIENT for the high school. It expires on 12/2011.

Whadda ya'll say? It's time for the Republican party to join the Whigs. Our country cannot afford them any longer.

-Prodigal Son

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


From Brandon David Dix at Panhandle Young Democrats:

GoGreenAmarillo is a coalition of different organizations who would like to make Amarillo greener. With so many different groups varying in areas of interests that all fall under "green" initiatives (Curbside Recycling , Water Quality , Green Job Creation/Training , Transportation etc), it just seems natural that we all come together for the "Greener Good" . . .

We just want to make Amarillo a better and safer place. That's it . Not really that "radical" sounding huh ?

As some of you may know the city is actively seeking a consultant firm to update our City Master Plan and we have a petition out in the community for them to a) hire locally, and b) make sure to include green initiatives in said plan.

As a city we have yet to get the full brunt of the collapsing market; however, we would be naive to think that it will not be felt eventually . And with the environment being one of the incoming administration's priorities we have two choices : 1) Burying our head in the sand and praying that we will not be effected, or 2) taking a hard look at where we would like to see our city's future as a competitor in the green collar economy .

Please feel free to write a letter to the editor, the mayor, or anyone on the city committee to express your thoughts/feelings about Going Green . And share them with us at GoGreenAmarillo@hotmail.com . We will have a website up in a week or so and we also have a meeting in January to pregame before we go to the the City for the second time. The first time we had 200 people there . Let's try for 500 on Jan 20th. Happy Holidays from GoGreenAmarillo and from the PYD's . Let us keep in our thoughts and prayers those less fortunate than us and our brave men and women in uniform across the globe.


Trouble ahead, trouble behind ... Casey Jones is ready, watch your speed.

I'm a bit hot & cold on Greg Sagan, which probably goes some way towards demonstrating that he's the onliest columnist left at the AG-R who thinks for himself.

But when he gets on one of his periodic train kicks, I'm with him.

Only problem from his perspective with the rail program currently being batted around is that it wouldn't come anywhere near Amarillo.

Worse, though, is his first commenter, who says "state subsidized mass-transit does not work."

First, as my dear old daddy used to point out before he went stark raving mad on a diet of Fox News and Bush-worship, all forms of transportation are subsidized to some degree by the government. Who you think pays for your roads? Microsoft? Disney?

Secondly, you're talking about transportation in an age of chaotic oil prices, imminent airline bankruptcies, and the proverbial Other Shoe of environmental disaster hanging over our heads. You can pretty much complete any sentence you start about the status quo with the words "does not work."

Maybe the commenter likes his/her Panhandlian bubble, but the rest of the country is going to have to do something about transportation. Attitudes like his/hers will only serve to keep Amarillo what it is and always has been: flyover, or drive fast through, or even perhaps "rail around" country.


Take Us Seriously, Darnnit!

The wingnuts are having themselves a conference, with Joe the dipshit plumbing supply clerk on the bill. Called conservatism 2.0. LOL you can't make this boolsheeet up! More HERE

-Prodigal Son

Unanswered Questions from election 08

Has Palin donated her $160k wardrobe to charity yet?

Has Palin paid back Alaskans for the per diem for her hubby as promised?

Is Palin's daughter married/had her baby yet? UPDATE: Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston born yesterday. Mazeltov! Not married yet though IOKIYAR . . .

Just asking . . .

-Prodigal Son

Monday, December 29, 2008


2nd Best 2009 Political Image

“This is a farewell kiss, you dog. This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq.” - Iraqi journalist, Muntathar al Zaidi, speaking for BILLIONS.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

OCD much?

Again with the red light cameras.

We may disagree on whether these cameras are life-saving gifts from the technology gods or boots stomping on a human face forever. But surely we can all agree that John Kanelis is either a fanatic or a writer who has completely run out of ideas.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Saturnalia

Belated happy Saturnalia. In the spirit of the holiday the following is a song that rocks. Hopefully the embedding works correctly:

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What? Cameras can be wrong?

John Kanelis is certainly not going to like this.

Using laser printers, Wootton High School students have been creating copies of innocent peoples' license plates on glossy paper, which they stick on the plates of their own cars. The students then speed by the camera in front of the school, which takes a photo of the fake plate number and sends a $40 dollars ticket to them.
John loves loves loves him some red-light cameras. His obsessive paeans to the cameras in the Amarillo Globe-Republican have included such statements as "Isn't technology simply grand?" Now, John isn't normally a techno-Utopian who lovingly caresses his stack of old Mondo 2000s. "Retrogade Luddite" would ordinarily be a better description for a man who didn't own a cell phone until a few months ago and uses vaguely antiquated phrases like "simply grand". But he loves those cameras and regularly tears up as he imagines them working perfectly every-- single-- time--

He is certainly not going to like hearing how easy it is to hack them.


Out-of-Touch Federal Judge Caves to Non-Representative Special Interest Group;

Insane, Drooling Texas Legislator Reacts by Vowing to Introduce Legislation to Create a Program that Cannot Possibly Exist in This Physical Reality

So much is wrong with this situation I hardly know where to begin.

A federal judge has turned up the heat on the Legislature to develop a new language program for the estimated 140,000 limited-English middle and high school students in Texas.

U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice rejected the state's request to postpone his order for limited-English students, saying they have waited long enough. The state requested the delay while it appealed the order.

His original order, in July, said the improvements had to be in place by the start of the 2009-10 school year. A preliminary plan is due Jan. 31.
But begin I shall.

The first red flag pops up with the plaintiffs. This case was brought by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, represented by one David Hinojosa. Already we can see that a large number of English Language Learners will be ignored in this particular debate as both sides try to figure out how to teach their little brown racist fantasies, still wet from the Rio Grande, how to espeak.

I taught ESL for three years in a West Texas town with a population that was fifty-percent Hispanic. Many of the Hispanic kids lived in a satellite community populated largely by Mexican nationals who had come to work in the meat-packing plant. As recently as ten years before I started working there, the town had been a lily-white farming community. The year before I left, the meat-packing plant was raided by federal agents and a number of illegal aliens were arrested. Hispanics-- legal and otherwise-- and plant representatives were frightened out of their wits. They began-- slowly but surely-- to clear out, to be replaced. The first Burmese arrived in my final year. This year, I have heard, there are enough to fill an entire class at every level.

Although the majority of English Language Learners in Texas are still Spanish speakers, demographics can change in the blink of an eye. They have before.

The school at which I currently work, boasts an ESL population that speaks Farsi, Spanish, Burmese, Lao and a smattering of other languages. Because of the growing prevalence of similar populations, it's a bit nuts to create programs based on a dated Speedy Gonzales daydream.

But this is precisely the fantasy that both the plaintiffs and the federal judge appear to have in mind. The Texas Lege is working under a similar delusion, but it isn't news to anyone that Texas Legislators are nuts.
The House's education leader, Rob Eissler, R-The Woodlands, said he will again offer legislation to provide state funding for dual-language immersion programs to replace traditional bilingual and ESL classes. Under a dual-language program, students learn some subjects in their native languages for half a day and other subjects in English for the rest of the day.
Um, no. In the first place, although the very phrase "dual-language immersion" is absurd on its face (a program can immerse students, or teach them in two languages, but not both), programs that are called that do exist. But these programs are certainly not what Texans have in mind. Programs that are called by that oxymoronic phrase are also called two-way immersion. Classes consist of fifty-percent native English speakers and fifty-percent ... something else. Both groups learn the other language. It might not be a bad idea for white Texan kids to learn Spanish, but this doesn't appear to be the goal of "Rob Eissler, R-The Woodlands".

In my experience, schools experience a growing process as they deal with an increasing ESL population. They first try to deal with ESL kids as if they were disabled-- sticking the worst in a "newcomer" class and mainstreaming them as soon as possible. This never works, and school inevitably begin looking for other solutions. Eissler apparently wants to keep all the ESL kids in the newcomer class.

There are better ways. I've seen sheltered programs work, for example. I'm actually surprised that the Texas Lege isn't focusing on sheltered programs, since such programs are promoted by Pearson Education, and the Lege historically seems to want to throw as money as possible at Pearson.

Teaching math and science classes in Spanish is a step backwards that won't work, no matter how much Texans close their eyes and pretend that they've created a "dual-language immersion" program. It will cause kids to fail-- especially the kids who speak Farsi or some other non-Spanish language. It will cause schools to fail, since standardized tests cannot be translated per NCLB and state law.

ESL: I do not think that term means what the politicians think it means.


Monday, December 22, 2008

From HQ

artists time-travel from mid-19th century to paint Bush portraits

These images of the Bushes, the last official propaganda of the Bush presidency, are appropriately dull and dated. (What medium is Laura's painted in? Watercolor?)

Shepard Fairey's "Hope" print, hanging in the Smithsonian next to something that looks like it could have been painted by Frederic Sackrider Remington on a whiskey bender, will speak well over a thousand words.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Guest Editorial: I call Photoshop

Panhandle Truth Squad welcomes this guest editorial from Bob, an engineering student and old-school geek who lived on the far side of the first floor of McGinnis Hall during my freshman year --SPACEDARK

Pfft! I call Photoshop on 2008. Every other Digg these dayz is some d00d's Top-10 list about the nooz of the year, or a link to a Flickr set showing a year's worth of wars, rumorz of wars, and st0ckbr0kerz jumping out of buildings. OMFG.

How can u have a picture of a rumor of a war? That's just my point. W00t! I call Photoshop on the whole damn year. L2P, n00bs!

Take the subprime mortgage EPIC FAIL, for example. Ever d00d seems to think the whole thing was some sort of a bubble in which people were given loans with payments that seemed kewl at first but then expanded like the amount of hard drive space you need to store your pr0n. Most n00bs understand that there's something fake about the situation, but they don't grok the whole sitch. Here's a truth bomb: the whole thing, the mortage docs, the realtors and bankers, even the fraking houses themselves were Photoshop jobs, and bad ones. W00t! Those lamerz who got pwned by those mortages should have noticed the pixelation at the foundations of the houses and any idiot who zoomed in on the mortage documents should have seen that they used a font that doesn't even exist yet. Plus, I've heard that the shadowz cast by all those brick houses with wood shingles in the far southwest part of town point every which way-- even toward the sun. That's teh suxxor. How hard is it to ray trace a neighborhood?

During the erection I mean election everyone was unjustly accusing Larry Flynt of hiring a lookalike Sarah Palin to make a pr0n called Nailin' Palin. Now, I watched that movie several times, and that was no lookalike. People don't seem to understand that Larry Flynt created Sarah Palin in the first place with Photoshop and morphing software. He just pulled up his archives of secksy librarians, morphed them together, tweaked it a bit, and Sarah Palin winked into existence. Get it? Winked? But in an attempt to increase her hotness he did the bodies and the heads separately. Any idiot can see where he spliced them together.

Her nomination was a freak coincidence. After John McCain admitted he didn't know how to use e-mail, his staff had to sk00l him. They remembered to tell him not to open teh e-mails from the nice Nigerian princes, but forgot to say anything about Larry Flynt. John opened his latest e-mail from Larry and a Sarah Palin popped out of his laptop like a Gator installer in 1999. Larry made another copy and sent it to Lorne Michaels on a thumb drive. Lorne renamed the copy "Tina Fey".

And then there's Barack Obama. Everybody's talking about how he's the first African-American president. I call Photoshop! Everybody's talking about his white mother. I call Photoshop on that, too! He might be lily-white or he might be as black as the 175 million barrels of crude oil hidden in the basement of Dick Cheney's undisclosed location. He could be red or yellow black or white! No one knows! But he's certainly not the color everyone sees when they look at him. Because, right before he declared for president, they put Barack Obama in Photoshop and popped open the ole Hue/Saturation dialog box, and adjusted the levels until they came up with a color that was almost, but not quite, whatever u wanted it to be! Photoshop!

Photoshop! Photoshop! Photoshop! W00t!


Friday, December 19, 2008

Beware the Fatu-liva bird

don't read this post

Read calamus's immediately below. It's far more thoughtful and well-written and, ultimately, worthwhile.

But if you're still here...

A few weeks ago, Panhandle Truth Squad friend and colleague, the redoubtable Mr. Anger, began a post with the captivating words "Bill O'Reilly is certainly not going to like this." Mr. Anger went on to describe some greeting cards that were available featuring iconography such as "Charles Darwin dressed as Santa, and an evolutionary line-up going from the monkey to Santa Claus".

We immediately ordered several, and got them in time to use as decorations at our Monkey Ancestors Day party.

There probably isn't time to order these in time to send out for the Winter Solstice, or Christmas, or Festivus or anything else, but we'd like to return the favor nonetheless.

From The Onion: Santa Claus on a melting ice cap. The sentiment: "Merry Second-To-Last Christmas."


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Feathers for Brains

There have been times on extremely rare occasions when we have found ourselves asking why it is stupid people believe stupid things. Put more charitably, why do those individuals with the same intelligence as that of a chicken (and you know who you are) insist on pecking away at their keyboards and come squawking about Panhandle Truth Squad only to show just how retarded they are?

We’re all quite familiar with their derangements. If these persons whose intellectual powers are marginally equal to a parakeet’s aren’t clucking about all Muslims being terrorists it’s Barack Obama being the anti-Christ or American moral decline being caused by hamsters. There has been much speculation of late that their delusional prattling is derived from a single source -- the eponymously named Jackass Magazine. While this may explain the current rash of nominally literate budgerigars, it does not account for their prevalence in history.

What is needed is a more general theory that explains right-wing idiocy both in our blog space and in historical time, a unified field theory or Grand Jackass Theory. It is therefore proposed to sketch out the beginnings of such a theory by examining some ideas divorced from reality and thus gain some understanding of fictive belief systems that have persisted in the face contradictory evidence.

First up is the discovery of the Filbert Islands in the South Seas as recorded in “The Cruise of the Kawa” published in 1921. “Filbert” (as in “hazelnut”) should have been a tip-off, but the public’s suspicions were not aroused even by the extraordinary, fantastical discoveries made in the islands. Among them was the fabulous fatu-liva bird, which laid square, spotted eggs. Photographic proof was offered, and the fact the “eggs” in the nest were identical to dice apparently was no impediment to readers accepting the tale as genuine.

“The Cruise of the Kawa” was a deliberate parody of the travel genre popular at the time, yet an entire flock of pigeons was openly conned, perhaps because they didn’t understand satire (a common malady amongst conservatives), but others continued to believe in the adventure even after they knew the book to be a hoax. How could people hold beliefs that were in direct conflict with each other? How could people think dice were proof of square eggs?

For an answer we turn to one of the greatest detectives in all history: Sherlock Holmes. Unfortunately his inventor, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was a dolt. The man who created the detective’s detective, able through scientific observation and deductive logic to penetrate the most impenetrable of mysteries, to thwart nefarious plots, and outwit the greatest evil genius in the world, believed in fairies.

Two little girls, the cousins Elsie Wright and Francis Griffith, claimed to be playing with the fairies in a glen and offered photographs as proof. Many thought the Cottingley Fairies, as they became known throughout England in 1917, were fakes but Doyle was absolutely convinced, using his fame to become a leading proponent and publishing a book, “The Coming of the Fairies”, in 1922. In 1981 the cousins confessed to faking the photos: the fairies were paper cut-outs held in place by hatpins.

So why was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle so easily fooled by paper fairies drawn in the latest European fashions? Did the creator of Sherlock Holmes ever think he was too smart to be outwitted by children? Or was it because Doyle was a Spiritualist, whose faith involved séances, levitating tables, floating trumpets, and glowing spectral forms, and fairies were proof of this mystical world?

How could Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and readers of “The Cruise of the Kawa” have been such boobs? Unlike some people they obviously weren’t complete idiots. But with the pre-conceptions of an unquestioning belief system they were prepared to misinterpret and unable to properly apprehend the evidence before them. Anything that did not fit that system was rejected, if indeed it was perceived at all. Self-delusion became “reality;” fiction became “fact.” For Doyle, he needed to believe fairies existed, to believe in another world that gave his own reality meaning, and no amount of contrary evidence would dissuade him.

Today the editors of Jackass Magazine are manufacturing a different kind of fantasy world: Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery; airliners are leaving chemical trails in the sky; Microsoft will send you money for forwarding your e-mail. It is a world where real facts have little meaning, where reason and logic are mere words, specious claims are proof, and the absurd is unquestioned. If the creator of Sherlock Holmes, surely one of the cleverest men of his time, could believe in utter balderdash, what chance has the modern moron who subscribes to Jackass Magazine today?

Monday, December 15, 2008


Gary commented the following:

I hope many of you will turn out for a public hearing regarding a proposed halfway house for parolees with a history of substance abuse. This would be operated by the AWARE Program and funded by the Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice. Those favoring these services were underrepresented at previous hearings.

I don't have any association with AWARE or TDCJ but I do know this community is lacking in services to treat substance abusers. These parolees are going to return home to Amarillo and it seems obvious to me they and the community will be better served if they transition to a program providing structure, supervision and treatment.

The hearing is Monday, Dec. 14, 6 p.m. at the Aware Program office, 1201 S.W. Eighth.
I tutor adult ESL students on Monday nights, so I won't be able to make it to this meeting, but best wishes to all who attend.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Monkey Ancestors Day ... The Aftermath, or This is Why My Wife Writes the Checks to Pay Our Bills

The LIGHT ... it's so BRIGHT ...

In related news, the notorious troll gaelictexan got ahold of one of our erroneously-addressed invitations and stormed into the house at 1012 S. _____ looking for "damned libruhls". He found only a somewhat bemused elderly couple, but this didn't stop him from throwing a rack of souvenir spoons of the fifty states on the floor, knocking some Black Hills gold off the knick-knack rack onto the shag rug, and throwing several photos of grandchildren at the ficus tree while screaming profanities.

To the elderly couple at 1012 S. _____ , I apologize profusely. Anyone else who was a victim of my complete inability to type a correct number and did not find us a few doors down from 1012 should e-mail Panhandle Truth Squad. We owe you a drink of your choice.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Calamus Venenum Sighting?

Thought to be permanently lost to "god knows what" a few recent photos have emerged revealing that the famous ven"e"mous one may still be around. Here is a photo taken off the coast of Newfoundland just two months ago.

Then a few weeks later this image emerged from the wild Beardlands of Pennsylvania.

Shortly thereafter more evidence rumbled in that Calamus may still be riding that "Highway to Heck" with this image taken in a bar in North Hollwood.

Then there is this image. Is this just some random pirate taken on the beardy main, or Calamus after using lots of Grecian formula?

Finally, this image was taken just two nights ago at the local strip mall just outside a small building called Santa's Wee Village. What the hell happened to Calamus Venenum? Will he be sighted at the Monkey Ancestor Day party?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


A couple of thoughts without any research. Being economics challenged, could someone tell me why, with the proper vetting and repayment plan, the government won’t give bailout money directly to struggling homeowners so that they could keep their houses, repay the loans and the lending institutions won’t have to deal with a bunch of empty houses to keep up? Could it be that the lenders want to sell the houses twice?

And as far as the carmaker bailout, besides laying off a bunch of workers (union folks) what will the executives do with the labor force while they “restructure”? Will they keep manufacturing vehicles no one wants to buy and add them to their already burgeoning inventory? I think Michael Moore says it best: “This new president and this Congress has to say to the Big Three, ‘I’m sorry, but this car thing isn’t working out’ . . . If we give you $34 billion, we’re going to own your ass.”

And one more – Spacedark, in that first sentence in the second paragraph, does the question mark go inside or outside the quotes?


Monday, December 08, 2008

Rove to name names...run for the hills

Rove with 1.5 million in his pocket plans to tell us all the names of the guys in Washington who wouldn't accept him. Poor Karl, he's just a misunderstood patriot.

Dubya? Think-Tank? Ya Frikkin Kidding?

This post is personal. John Wesley is rolling in his grave.

After all, the worst President EVER has to have a library somewhere, I guess.

But as someone who grew up in the Methodist church, having Dubya setup shop at SMU, (I used to jokingly call it the "Republican Replication Machine" because of all the rich rethug kids that attend, and then go to work for Daddy's firm), is disgusting. He is not an alumni (But Laura is), or connected to it other than claiming he was Methodist. The only reason to have it there was that he intended all along to live in highland park Dallas where the university is, the movie-set "Ranch" not withstanding.

But that is by-the-by. The real issue at stake is the fact that it sickens me for Southern Methodist University to agree to slip a neocon partisan policy center into the mix.

And does anyone really believe that the "Think Tank" will NOT be devoted to “polishing” the GWB legacy, as Dubya lied about last week? Yes, a Frikkin' LIE.

Remember that Dubya has sealed up his records, and that Karl Rove is heading up the "Bush Legacy Project", and you get a stinking pile of historical revisionism.

Bill Berkowitz sums it up, "The really big extra embedded into this project appears to be what Bush insiders are calling the Institute for Democracy. Modeled after the Hoover Institution, a long-time conservative think tank located on the campus of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, Bush's institute would hire conservative scholars and "give them money to write papers and books favorable to the President's policies," [emphasis mine] one Bush insider told the NY Daily News. "

After just a little of my own research, I found that such an institute is EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED by SMU’s own Articles of Incorporation, which stipulate that church-owned land can be leased for religious and educational purposes ONLY. I guess kissing Bush's ass is now educational?

Coupla questions here, because I paid my own way through school:
1. How much $ will the students have to pay for maintenance of the damn thing?
2. How much $ does SMU get from our offering plates through the Methodist church?

Just asking. Anyone know? Thoughts?
-Prodigal Son


Saturday, December 06, 2008

Gawd, this blog isn't boring!

Judging from the number of comments and "helpful advice" under Prodigal Son's post, my opinion, stated above, is the minority view.

And it flies in the face of all advice on how to build a following on a blog, but I've been thinking about the old-fashioned virtues of waiting until you have something to say before you say it.

In the political season recently ended, I personally haven't found much to say that 100 million other bloggers haven't also been saying.1

But, over 4 1/2 years, much of our writing has been as solid as anyone else's in Amarillo. Our signal-to-noise ratio beats that of most blogs. We're not usually news-- few blogs are, and I doubt any of us will ever have time to be unless someone wants to start paying us for this-- but there is still, in this brave new OMFG and LOL world, a place for saying what you do say with style and panache. And for waiting until you can do so. Here's my advice for anyone who likes what we say, but gets frustrated when they check our site and we don't have any new material: get an RSS reader and put us on it. I like Google Reader myself, but there's a ton of them out there. That advice might sound a bit let-them-eat-electronic-cake, but we're not Marie Antoinette and our readers aren't peasants (not yet, anyway: give this economy Bush left us with time).

My point is twofold: this is a hobby for all of us, and hobbies weren't meant to be stressful. And more content doesn't equal more quality.

At least that's what I think.


1Well, maybe only half those blogs are political, so 50 million. And maybe only 3/5 of them lean leftward, so 30 million. I haven't found much to say that 30 million other bloggers have also been saying.

Amarillo Area Democrats dinner

The Amarillo Area Democrats dinner will be held at the Country Barn Steak House, 8200 I-40 West, at 7:00 PM, Saturday, December 6, 2008.

Guest Speaker is Bill White, Mayor of Houston. The cost is$25.00.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The source

See below (Texas as, etc.) Should have quoted the source but I suspect you already figured it out - The Amarillo Globe Republican.


Texas as a Federal Model?

Last Sunday (11/30) Tom Paukin, genius former republican party chairman, quoted the Wall Street Journal which said that other states should "be more like Texas" as an economic model. I quickly pulled up a list giving Texas rankings (a little dated, but still close to accurate), and wanted to mention just a few from about thirty scores: Texas teachers' salaries, 38th of 50; high school completion rate, 44th of 50; highest number of children living in poverty, 2nd in the nation; highest number of children without health insurance, 2nd in the nation; highest percentage of Texans without health insurance, 2nd in the nation; per capita funding for public health, 48th of 50; delivery of social services, 47th of 50; number of executions, number 1 in the nation; pollution in Texas, 1st in the nation; public libraries and branches, 47th of 50; spending for the environment, 49th of 50; highest home insurance rates in the country, 1st place; and best place for raising children, 48th of 50.

At least, if the other states would follow our example, more than likely some of our ratings would improve!


Sunday, November 30, 2008

save the date

Our annual Celebrate Your Monkey Ancestors / War On Christmas party will be held the evening of Saturday, December 13 at 7:00 p.m. This will be a very special Monkey Ancestors Day since we will be toasting the new mandate that will finally allow us to enact our agenda (see #23). If you are on the Vino Veritas mailing list, you will be receiving more information soon. If you are not-- and would like to be-- please e-mail us at panhandletruthsquad@yahoo.com.

Plan to join us and learn the best way to upend a Wingnut:


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gawd, this blog is boring!


How can we make this blog better? It seems to be just a few posts here and there. A few comments here and there.

Do we need a makeover?

How do we get the word out about us?


More contributors?

-Prodigal Son

Saturday, November 22, 2008

amarillo globe-news reaches bottom

In a story published Thursday on job cuts, the Globe-News stated:

The exact number of jobs eliminated was not released.
The writer of the story, you see, was unable to get the exact number of layoffs from the anonymous functionary at the massive corporation that cut those jobs. Which might be understandable, except that the headline of the story was:
Globe-News eliminates about 20 jobs
Seriously? I realize that investigative journalism isn't really the Globe-News's, um, thing, but really? They weren't able to call up themselves and ask if it was 19 or 21 jobs? What, was the anonymous functionary's job eliminated before he could provide the number? Or was the writer's job cut before he could fact check his piece?

Rock. Freaking. Bottom.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Save the American Car

Just some thoughts after speaking to an auto sector analyst buddy on how to solve the mess the big 3 are in . . .

1. Buy the big 3 out at current market cap plus 20% (around $10 billion) and put a couple of cpa's in charge who just pay bills. Sell all perks like $33 million jets, and fire board and all top brass. Minimal pensions for these jokers.

2. Combine them all into a single holding company, gov't takes over pension liabilities, (pension benefit guarantee corp (tax payer) is going to have to do this anyway)

3. Stop all manufacturing immediately/retool all plants/ww2 took 5 months to retool keep 10 brands but must all be hybrids or all get minimum 35mpg.

  • sell all current stock at dealerships for cost plus reasonable profit. Taxpayers tote note.
  • construction boost to plant regions.
  • pay workers during process (unemployment benefits anyway if detroit goes boom)
  • employees have to accept pay freeze for 5 years.

4. put all employees on gov't health plan.

When things are going better, allow the company to go public, pay back the taxpayers FIRST.

-Prodigal Son

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hugs and Kisses, and Champagne Dreams

Traitor Joe gets to keep all his toys. The vote was not even close, 42-13 IN FAVOR of letting McCain's number one fan stay as Chairman of the Homeland security committee.

Here is the LAUNDRY LIST of lies/hate/fear from Joe. Thanks a fuc*ing lot Connecticut, and ahhh, isn't that love for each other in the good old senate boys club sweet!

Just asking but how does this jibe with having him in the caucus?

"Feared a 60-seat Democratic majority:
Lieberman made clear that he firmly opposes Democrats gaining 60 seats in the Senate, saying that he “fears” for the survival of the U.S. if Democrats break the filibuster threshold. [11/04/08] "

Can just ONE reporter ask traitor Joe if he still thinks that, since we might actually have 59 solid democratic seats, and Joey making it 60?

I know Obama wants b-partisan, blah, blah, blah. For the moment I will trust the judgement of the Demos and the President-elect.

But if traitor Joe steps out of line, the netroots, the base, are gonna be pissed.

-Prodigal Son

Sunday, November 16, 2008

House of Cards

I have been reading everything I can about our markets, credit, investment banking. Clients are screaming, businesses are nervous. My 401k statement came in and I just shredded it without looking. I already looked at it the day before online.

How? When? What now? Before the what now, we have to look at our macroeconomic journey over the last 30 years, especially the creation of the next big bubble economy rather than one based on things we all can get our heads around, you know, like energy, infrastructure, touchable tech, production for export, etc.

The best article I have read so far has been by Michael Lewis called, "The End" regarding all the subprime mess, and wall street's mentality. Go read it TODAY.

It bugged me, being in the industry, but it can be summed up by a quote in it from Steve Eisman, "These guys lied to infinity. What I learned from that experience was that Wall Street didn’t give a shit what it sold.”

Here is how, "In 2000, there had been $130 billion in subprime mortgage lending, with $55 billion of that repackaged as mortgage bonds. But in 2005, there was $625 billion in subprime mortgage loans, $507 billion of which found its way into mortgage bonds."

Get it? Over the last several years, a big pile of shit, leveraged several times, rated by companies that had no downside models in their calculations, slightly polished said turd, and then it was sold as AAA bonds to your state pension, municipal governments, and retirement plans. It was made larger by hedge funds who shorted the whole mess and provided more funds to continue feeding the hog.

The article gives a great example of wall street's new ideology formed in the in the 80's by the "Reaganauts" when Salomon Brothers went public at the behest of CEO John Gutfreund, "He and the other partners not only made a quick killing; they transferred the ultimate financial risk from themselves to their shareholders. [Bold Mine]

It didn’t, in the end, make a great deal of sense for the shareholders. (A share of Salomon Brothers purchased when I arrived on the trading floor, in 1986, at a then market price of $42, would be worth 2.26 shares of Citigroup today—market value: $27.) But it made fantastic sense for the investment bankers.

Is it sinking in? The economy is not about you, or us, or small businesses, or America. It's about the insiders. And you and I ain't one of those.

And really, can you blame them? Who among us could have passed it up. Big BIG bucks were made.

Speaking only for myself, if someone from Lehman came up in 2003 and said, "We need you to come over and be a collateralized mortgage bond trader, and sell them to XYZ. You will make $10 mm this year"! Would/could I have . . .

1. Staring down that amount of $$$ admitted that, after doing some research, I had no frikkin' clue what the CDO/CMO banking division was doing accounting wise, and NOT taken the job?

2. After I had made some bucks, get out there and faced down all of Wall Street and exposed the now tarnished big shitpile?

Could you? Maybe that says it all. Maybe nothing.

-Prodigal Son

Thursday, November 13, 2008

victory party

It's the dancin' we didn't get to do!!!
We are having a "Victory Party" at 212, Friday night from 7:00 till whenever.
"Shake your groove thing"!!!
Amarillo Area Democrats

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sunday, November 09, 2008

save the date

Our annual Celebrate Your Monkey Ancestors / War On Christmas party will be held the evening of Saturday, December 13. This will be a very special Monkey Ancestors Day since we will be toasting the new mandate that will finally allow us to enact our agenda (see #23). If you are on the Vino Veritas mailing list, you will be receiving more information soon. If you are not-- and would like to be-- please e-mail us at panhandletruthsquad@yahoo.com.

Plan to join us and learn the best way to upend a Wingnut:


Saturday, December 13. Saturday, December 13. Saturday, December 13. Saturday, December 13. Saturday, December 13.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Revolution Day 4

I am only now coming down from Tuesday's incredible high and, being a workin' stiff, just finding the time to post this. Here are some stream-of-semi-consciousness ramblings.

Great hope: That this country is finally rising up and living out the true meaning of its creed.

Great fear: Dubya, in one last delusional binge, attempts to use a terrorist attack as excuse for remaining in office.

Old friends: The immediate aftermath of victory brought to mind mainly all the faces of folks with whom I have worked for this moment, and my pride at those associations. That's when I bawled like a baby.

New friends: Having landed in a state that is just this side of the purple divide, I'm getting to know some good folks, but finding out that the depth of passion might be greatest where the pickings are slim and none.

Analysis: What the pundits still fail to see is that the source of Obama's appeal is in his character. He has the good will of 2/3 of the public at his back, and an opportunity to remake the electoral map for a long time. He will fulfill his promise not by providing instant gratification to everyone, but by providing a steady hand on the tiller, and progress toward the goals he laid out. That is what is expected of him.

Implication: Barring major mistakes, which the president-elect has not made so far, this is not the low tide for Republicans. They can expect still more losses for some years as they struggle to understand why their current brand of politics has been rejected (hint: it's what Lincoln said).

Further implication: Keep working to turn blue those areas of the country that haven't got there yet. There is more to be gained, especially among the young, who voted and worked in record numbers. There is a whole new generation behind them who will be eager to cast ballots in 2012.

Holiday wishes: Live long and prosper.


Will Democrats ever learn?
-- Amarillo Globe-Republican, 11/7/2004

Yes we can:

More Pictures From the Watch/Victory Party

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yeppers . . .

What An Amazing Accomplishment

Per Jonathan Schwarz

It's September 12, 2001. You're sitting in front of a TV, watching footage of the World Trade Center collapse over and over and over again.

All of a sudden, someone from seven years in the future walks out of a tiny temporal vortex, and tells you: George W. Bush is going to fuck this up so badly that in 2008, the United States of America will likely elect as president a black man whose middle name is Hussein and whose father was Muslim. Oh, and he also admits he's used cocaine.

I think it would have been easier to convince me of the reality of time travel. "No, no, I believe you really are from the future. But the other stuff, that's CRAZY."

-Prodigal Son

Be "more American"

Enjoy your extended trip to the political wilderness, Lorne Tjernagel's of America. You've earned it.

What is best in life?

We Have Overcome

History. And we were a part of it. Not just observers.

Colorado? Obama.

New Mexico. Obama?

Virginia . . . OBAMA!

Surreal . . . amazing. Yes we can? Yes, We DID!

"The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America -- I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you -- we as a people will get there," -President-Elect BARACK OBAMA 11/4/2008

This country is closer to it's fundamental ideals than ever before. Tears were streaming down my face watching Obama's speech, and I thought about my kids curled up asleep upstairs, and what Obama and WE have proven. That if a black kid living in poverty in Chicago with a Muslim name in a single-parent home can bust his rear-end to get through school and reach the highest office in the land, what can my children achieve? What can our country achieve?

The top .5%'ers and wealthy republicans have just had the unthinkable happen. Someone who was not from a rich, well connected, blue-blood family is headed to the white house. HA!HA! Get it . . . the WHITE HOUSE . . . anyhoo. . .

Let's celebrate. Celebrate all that is great with America, and what we can look forward to. Obama is our next President, but WE THE PEOPLE elected HIM.

A quick wishlist . . .

1. Our brothers and sisters in Iraq? Time to come home. To rest. To heal and be uplifted.
2. THREE supreme court judge pix.
3. Joe Lieberman? Pack up your shit and take it down to Human Resources.
4. Renewable energy
5. Stem cell research
6. EVOLUTION is not a theory anymore
7. GLOBAL WARMING is not a theory anymore
8. Infrastructure! Infrastructure!
9. DOJ back to normal.
10. Cheney/Rummy/Wolfie/Condi . . . in jail. (Won't happen, I'm WISHING DAMMIT!)

What would you add?

-Prodigal Son

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

"That One" Won

Terrorist Fist Bumps All Around

What a Night, My Friends


Preliminary Results


Chip Chandelier, Not a Globe-News reviewer...

Deep Throat...

PanhandleYoung Democrats Watch/Victory Party

We'll be liveblogging. Posts will be under my name, but not necessarily posted by me.



Watch (Hopefully Victory) Party

Party at the NAT Ballroom
November 4, 2008
Located @: 2705 W. 6th
Time: 8:00 PM
Come watch Daniel Katsuik from Spoonfed Tribe and St. John Baptist Choir, eat great food, and party. For those folks coming from afar we have 10 rooms reserved @ La QUINTA Inn off I-40 E(A stone throw away from the party.) $10.00 @ the door for food and fun and history making events. Strongly suggested donation for beer, wine, and spirits. Parking at RR and Aware Amarillo and we will shuttle. Please send to all your contacts and we will see you there.

Organized by Panhandle Young Democrats

This Is Not The Most Important Election Of Your Life

This Is Not The Most Important Election Of Your Life

This is not the most important election of your life.
Though I too would hope for an end of sorrows,
We’re stuck forever between love and strife.

Raise your voice and glass, bang drum, play fife.
Tell your friends that you believe in new tomorrows.
This is not the most important election of your life.

Pretend, if you must, to prefer the spoon to the knife,
But both are for eating, that’s just how it goes.
We’re stuck forever between love and strife.

With the delusion of difference, politics is rife.
From this poison seed, faith in democracy grows.
This is not the most important election of your life.

Politics makes for the strangest midwife,
Birthing only twins. Perhaps only a broken heart knows,
We’re stuck forever between love and strife.

Life will go on, as will friends and foes,
Curses, blessings, smiles and sorrows.
This is not the most important election of your life.
We’re stuck forever between love and strife.

G O     V O T E !

Monday, November 03, 2008

why so serious?

Eight long years gone by now-- and it seems like so many more-- since I told Prodigal Son, in the face of impending disaster, that I still couldn't close my eyes and see George W. Bush as President. He was only the ceremonial leader of a southern state with a weak-ass government designed to keep Reconstruction from ever returning to Texas. In that at least he had succeeded, as had all previous Texas governors. To claim this success, he had only to do the same thing that all previous governors of the Lone Scar State had done-- watch Bob Bullock administer what there was of the state's government. Bullock had run Texas since Texas was a Republic; he knew what he was doing.

Eight long years gone by -- and it seems like so many more-- since I watched the 2000 election approach as uncomprehendingly as Jaguar Paw watching the Spanish ships at the end of Apocalypto. Like those ships, that election would twist our world out of recognition, and I didn't know it. All I could say to Prodigal was, "Well, if he does somehow win, at least it will be a great time for satire. Doonesbury will be better than it's ever been. That cheerleader guy on SNL looks exactly like Bush-- he could do some good impressions."

In that, at least, I was right. In the past eight years, we have buried, buried, the old stereotype of the humorless, politically correct liberal. Doonesbury, yes, but also Franken, and Stewart, and Colbert, and a thousand thousand bloggers have been hilarious. Against them, Fox threw up The 1/2 Hour News Hour, which epic-failed after an unlucky thirteen episodes. Dennis Miller, who had once been funny, found neocon humor to be as elusive as those weapons of mass destruction (remember those? Now that's funny...).

Miller wrecked his career to the point that it is now nearly impossible-- as Tina Fey, the accidental impressionist, effortlessly merges Palin-shtick with Palin-reality-- to remember that he was once the best Weekend Update anchor SNL had ever had. But that was back when he made fun of power, rather than twisting and perverting his talent in the service of power.

So is that it? In order to be funny, is it necessary to be the jester in the court, to speak truth to those in power? Can those who hold the power never be truly funny? Will Stewart and Colbert be required to make fun of President Obama lest they follow Dennis Miller into Thalia's graveyard?

Not necessarily. Comedy is not such a simple formula. The last time liberals were this funny was in the Sixties, a time when conservatives imagine that we held enough power to wreck worlds. Many of the funniest activists held little true political power-- people like Abbie Hoffman, whose Yippies nominated a pig for President; the late, great Hunter S. Thompson; and Lenny Bruce, who kept getting sent to jail for saying a word that is on book covers today. They held little overt power, but it's hard to argue that they didn't define the times. Meanwhile, LBJ-- who wielded enough power to force journalists to interview him while he sat on the toilet-- also had a sense of humor, a sick and twisted one, but a sense of humor.

By the Eighties, things had Changed. The liberal standard-bearers were dullards like Mondale and Dukakis, who (like McCain now) occasionally looked funny but never were funny. And the Republican president, Ronald Reagan, was genuinely funny, whatever else he was. Then there was P.J. O'Rourke, the founder of the reptilian branch of the Republican party and author of "How to Drive Fast On Drugs While Getting Your Wing-Wang Squeezed and Not Spill Your Drink". He once defined the Republican Party Reptile as believing in "minimum government interference in private affairs—unless the government brings over extra girls and some ice." That was funny.

Of course, there were probably funny conservatives during the Days of Rage (and certainly over-serious liberals) and Berke Breathed and Matt Groening, at least, managed to be funny liberals during the Age of Reagan (while George Will has always been pompous, precious and annoying). So the truth is that a sense of humor is relatively independent of political power.

Surely, then, as the pendulum swings and progressivism's star rises, it is neither an inevitability nor a paradox that conservatives have utterly and completely lost their sense of humor. It is simply an indication of the character of neoconservatism that so many of it's proponents seem to have descended into the lowest depths of anger, bitterness, and hate in the face of humiliating loss.

I won't repeat all of the well-documented things that have been shouted about Obama at Palin rallies, won't rehash the inaccurate and mean-spirited e-mails, won't drop my jaw at those who will cut - their own - face to make a political candidate look bad. Instead, here's a smallish anecdote from a morning radio show: A girl dressed as Barack Obama for Halloween. In her own neighborhood, people she probably knew were shouting n-words at her, demanding to know why she chose that costume.

Our trolls will, perhaps, point out that this story is anecdotal. It is still illustrative of the ignorance that underlies the neocon lack of humor, and if you don't want to believe this story, you can look up the well-documented examples and find the same ignorance. Do you really think that wearing a political mask expresses a certain sympathy? Did everyone who ever wore a Clinton or a Nixon mask worship the president whose face they donned?

And so, on this election eve, with a million million reasons to vote for Senator Obama (I already have), there is also this: the coming years will be tough, whoever leads us. We might find much to laugh at in a McCain/Palin administration, but we would be laughing for all the wrong reasons. McCain showed, at the Al Smith dinner, that he could read semi-funny lines-- but Obama read his speech like he was reading something the writers of the Daily Show wrote for him for the first time...and genuinely cracking up. We've laughed at conservatives for long enough. It's time to laugh with progressives. I want to believe that Obama will keep us smiling, and that happy days are here again.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

In God We Tru$t

Is this is the new dollar coin Charles Paul Stephens whines about in today's Globe-Republican? Because it clearly states "In God We Trust". I guess I can't blame Stephens for wanting God's Power to back our currency, as these days that's probably the only thing backing it. I can, however, blame him for being a douche bag.

It took about 1 minute to look those coins up on the inter-googles, so I think a big "screw you" is owed to the Globe-Republican for printing that incendiary, fact-free crap. If such currency does exist they should at least demand to know what exactly it is.

Songs that still rock

This story had the most unbelievable picture:
Hey you prosperity christians, you're worshipping at the foot of Mammon.

Which reminded me of this song that introduced me to the industrial genre.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Say It Ain't So, Joe

George Schwarz
© The Amarillo Independent

In 2001, Kirsten Andrea Olson went to Cornerstone Outreach Center to ask for help with rent money. Five hours after visiting the center, she filed allegations with the Amarillo Police Department that Joe Kirkwood, now Precinct 3 Potter County commissioner and a self-styled pastor, asked her to reveal her breasts and genitals to check her for needle marks, according to a police report dated Sept. 5, 2001.

The Amarillo Police Department and the city’s attorney declined to take any further action. Olson has since married and is now Andrea Bradshaw. She spoke exclusively to the Independent and KVII Channel 7’s Chris Hegstrom, who collaborated on this story.

A copy of the APD report obtained by The Amarillo Independent was
determined by several sources to be legitimate and reflects a “she-said-he said” situation. The city of Amarillo did not provide the report, instead requesting that the Texas Attorney General determine if a complaint filed with a police department and the other material in the file are public records.

The Oct. 30 issue is being distributed and Channel 7 has run the story here: http://www.kvii.com/news/news_story.aspx?id=214296

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Potter-Randall Democrats

Monday, October 27, 2008
7:00 PM Refreshments and Fellowship

Amarillo Public Library
Southwest Branch

Program: General Election Information
Presented by: Potter and Randall County Clerks
Also: Election of 2009 Officers
Please make sure we have correct information for the directory.