Monthly Archives: December 2006

Cats in Sinks

This is my first try.  I’m still learning about the limitations of my camera. 

Cisco in a sink — blend the two together and imagine a perfect pic. :)

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A Few Points

These are not in any particular order of importance — just things I’ve read and heard the past few days . . .

1. John Edwards is running.  I donated this evening and signed up on the email list.  I will, more likely than not, be writing quite a bit about this as his campaign gets underway.

2. a.  Bill Bennett and his side-kick Seth are back and pathetic, per usual.  Yesterday it was Bennett scolding a dead man:

You’re a former President Mr. Ford, show a little more decency to the incumbent who is in a very, very tough place and trying to do the right thing….you may recall those days and positions yourself.

Say what?

2. b. Bennett yesterday said Jimmy Carter had plagiarized in his book after a caller had challenged Bennett to argue Carter’s points.  Bennett said he was an expert on education and drugs, but not the Middle East.  I called and talked with Seth.  I reminded him that Bennett, as an educator, must know that allegations of plagiarism are very serious.  Seth fessed up that Bennett is making the allegations over maps, of all things, and that he and I simply disagree as to whether the allegations have merit.

2. c. In looking for links for this point, I’ve decided that it needs to have its own post — but it was an Ethiopiapolooza this morning with Bennett and Seth speculating about whether the Ethiopians should be a part of the coming Bush *surge* in Iraq, playing the Ethiopian national anthem, and typical ill-informed banter (where’s Ethiopia?  is it a Christian nation?  where’d they get that military? ) ad nauseum.

3. The blood thirsty right wingers– on blogs and the radio — are all excited about the possibility that Saddam Hussien’s hanging could be shown on teevee.  It doesn’t matter how many people tell them that it is not a good idea to celebrate, much less hope to watch, they continue to drool at the possibility.  A *moderate* called it creepy, but I see it as typical.  The same people who were chastising Jeb Bush for halting executions (this is what it took?) are the ones who want to watch a man hang.  Mostly the advocates justified their desire by pointing to history.   Since irony is dead, I guess it is useless to point out that public executions are routine in Saudi Arabia and were in Afghanistan under the Taliban.

4. Polar bears and ice shelves are just the latest indicators that we have screwed this planet up.  This topic also demands more research and a post of its own.  It’s something that I care deeply about and having attended Al Gore’s presentation earlier this year, it is not surprising, but very troubling.  Connect it with the news from Maija that Riga is green in December and a report I watched tonight that the French Riviera is too warm for skiing but warm enough for playing on the beach, all those pundits who point to the mild hurricane season this year are simpletons.

Hoping for Rain

Over at the Chronicle, reader blogger Ruth Nasrullah has a post up about the Barker, Texas land owner who has been threatening to stage pig races on his property to protest his neighbors’ plans to build a community center and eventually a mosque.  She points to the man’s web site, which announces that the first race will take place today at 4:00 p.m. 

As Ruth points out, the land owner seems to have dug himself a hole, and it looks like he can’t find an honorable way to pull himself out of it.  There are legitimate concerns about traffic and access which could be addressed in a rational manner.  However, the land owner’s insistence on following through on his threat — a very insulting threat — definitely hinders negotiations.

According to Weather Underground, it looks like rain today for Barker, Texas.  I can only hope that the races get washed out, so it will save us the disgrace of having yet another Texan being petty and childish spotlighted on the news.

Update:  I’ve not been able to find out if the silly stunt took place or not, but the area has been under tornado and flood watches since late this afternoon.  Anyone with a lick of sense wouldn’t have ventured out to participate in a spiteful event — or at least that is my hope.  As far as news coverage goes, the land owner was on the radio and in the Chronicle, as well as in an AP report, so it looks like the damage has been done whether the races happened or not.

Also, there are some interesting comments over on Ruth’s blog — worth reading IMHO.

To Be Looked at While Listening to . . .

Gabriela Montero  — Thank you Roberto :)  and  Perfect Circle.

 Dora

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Tam looks so evil in every pic.

Farmers Branch Citizens’ Petition Certified

Good news for democracy — the petition submitted either to repeal or take the new city ordinanaces to a vote in May has been certified.  There were at least 908 valid signatures.

Math: Mike Gallagher raise $7K in t-shirt “sells” at $20 each at the least.  That’s from people in Farmers Branch and on the internets.  That equals 300 people.

The petition had 908 certified signatures.

 I love democracy.

President Ford

I don’t remember very much about President Ford’s time in office.  I was in junior high school at the time.  One thing I do remember from that time was how students couldn’t wear any representation of the American flag on their clothing.   A fad at the time was wearing embroidered shirts over a white t-shirt.  My mom made one for me and on it she had embroidered an American flag.  The assistant principle at my school made me take the shirt off.   At that time it was considered disrepectful to wear the flag as a part of your clothing.  My mom didn’t think the flag on my shirt fit under that equation, but she agreed that I shouldn’t wear the shirt.

 The News Hour ran the kind remarks Jimmy Carter made about President Ford before he died.  They also ran a report Jim Lehrer had made about presidential debates from 2004, I think.  Ford and Carter were honest about what happened in their debates.  They are both exampes of how civil politicians used to be . . . before the Fairness Doctrine was abolished by Reagan, the poison of DeLay and Gingrich set in, and George W. Bush drove the last nail in the coffin of civility or sanity for that matter.  Reagan gave birth to people like Limbaugh.  Gingrich and DeLay introduced manipulated politics.  George W. Bush brought in the thugs.

Today those who substitute for the Limbaugh types, as well as most of the media, paid tribute to President Ford to some extent.   Even though Tom DeLay has a blog, it took “him” (if you read the post you know Tom didn’t write it) until this afternoon to scrape something together.  In all it was pretty lame compared to what they came out with when Reagan died.  That’s to be expected, I guess. 

Lawsuits Against Farmers Branch Now Up to Three

First, real estate broker Guillermo Ramos filed suit alleging that the city violated the Texas Open Meetings Act.  Last Friday, some apartment complex owners filed suit, too.  That one asks a federal court to declare the ordinances unconstitutional.  Today, the ACLU and the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund weighed in.  Additionally, a petition to put the ordinances up for a vote (in May) has been submitted to the city.

Now it’s just a matter of following the suits.  I would think that any one of the plaintiffs could successfully ask for and receive a TRO to block the implementation of the ordinances in January.  If the petition effort is sucessful and there is a vote for the ordinances, the three lawsuits still stand.

Meanwhile, yesterday while I was having Christmas with my family, I thought about the families in Farmers Branch who perhaps weren’t having a very good holiday.  I wonder how many of the Latinos — of any immigration/citizenship status — of Farmers Branch have felt pressured to move; how many now feel unwelcome in that city.  I also wonder how many citizens of Farmers Branch are happy about the price they will have to pay simply to feed Tim O’Hare’s ego.