Category Archives: What’s wrong with Texas

Another Haiti Post

I remember what Hurricane Ike was like.  It was scary because you knew it was coming.  It was scary because of the wind.  But everyone knew after hours and hours of wind and rain, it would eventually stop.  It was eerie around here when there was no electricity.  At least I knew that my house was still standing afterwards, in the dark.  For two weeks, I had my house and knew it wouldn’t fall down on me — even if the ceiling was crumbling in a couple of places.  I felt safe in my house.

The people in Haiti have no such security.  Either their houses were destroyed or they were unstable — the houses could fall at any moment.  They are by necessity out in the street.  The city was built to accommodate 50K, but 2 mil were living there.  They don’t have electricity.  They don’t have any way to communicate.

I turned off every media that focused on any violence in Haiti earlier today.  The PBS News Hour disappointed me in trying to push that point.  It’s wrong and sensationalizing.  Something Fox News Channel would do — like they did with the president’s stopping deportations.

My hope is that things will get better over the weekend.  There has to be a way for the U.S. military, the Red Cross and the U.N., despite their losses on the ground, to get their operations up and running.

Now for the shame.  Though no one I try to shame will ever admit it, I’ll do it anyway.

First to Kevin WhitedCoward. Nothing on the Houston Haitian community or the earthquake.  As if it never happened.  Less than a month into the new city administration, Kevin is grousing.    Who could have predicted?

And then there is Kathleen.  Remember, she’s all for getting blacks (not Hispanics so much) into the Republican party.  Here are her contributions.  On her Houston Chronicle blog, it seems self promotion and the pasty work is more important than what happened in Haiti.  She finally posted something today — a false equivalence — seriously, Danny Glover vs. Pat Robertson?  But she adds this diddy that she claims she can’t get out of her head:

The devil went down to Hait, he was looking for a soul to steal.
He was in a bind ‘cos he was way behind: he was willin’ to make a deal.
When he came across this young man talkin’ to a frenchi who was all hot.
And the devil jumped upon a palm stump and said: “Boy let me tell you what:
“I bet you didn’t know it, but I own the frenchies too.
“And if you’d care to take a dare, I’ll make a bet with you.
“Now you have pretty good island, boy, but give the devil his due:
“I bet freeing you from the french against your soul, ‘cos I think I can make it better for you.”
The boy said: “My name’s Jean-Bertrand and it might be a sin,
“But I’ll take your bet, your gonna regret, ‘cos we’re the best island that’s ever been.”

Where the hell did she get that from?  I can’t find it anywhere.  Is there some email making the rounds?  Sorry, but that’s the most racist thing I’ve read in a while.

(shakes head)

She finishes with this:

Danny, Pat? I’ve got a newsflash for you guys. Satan didn’t do this and gobal (sic) warming didn’t do this. This is called nature. So get over your stupid theories.

I don’t get it.

It seems fairly straight forward to me.  There is a Haitian community in Greater Houston.  The earthquake is a big deal.  Perhaps these Republicans got burned during Katrina and can’t seem to bring themselves to even look at what happened in Haiti.

It will take a lot of work by people with more expertise than me to get Haiti together and healthy and safe.  Is there so much going on that Kevin and Kathleen can’t even suggest a place to give on their very influential blogs?

Haiti

It breaks my heart.  Just Monday, The PBS News Hour had a segment on as part of their series on fragile states, detailing how the Haitian textile industry was set for a comeback, particularly through the work of Bill Clinton.  The title of the report?  “Despite Years of Crushing Poverty, Hope Grows in Haiti.”  I can’t even bring myself to read the transcript.

I donated to the Red Cross and UNICEF.  There was no question in my mind.  In listening to wingnut radio this morning, I was happy to hear that both of the hosts were advertising a number to call for a charity to donate to.

This afternoon was quite different.  I pulled up “Katrina TrashChris Baker while I was at work and found that his producer was on the air, making jokes about having fired Baker.  (I’ll leave that to another post.)  The producer also decided that he was obligated to mention the earthquake in Haiti, but what he really wanted to talk about was how there is scientific proof that men are better than women.  How insightful producer guy!

Later, on the way home, Michael Berry wasn’t much better.  He just couldn’t decide if giving aid to Haiti was a good thing to do and asked his listeners to call in (or text or email).  Most of the arguments were about Hurricane Ike and how people are hurting here at home and that the government shouldn’t be in the charity business.  A couple of callers I heard used Haiti’s history to decide that it wasn’t a good idea to donate or help them.  Sort of like it’s their own fault that two tectonic plates decided to slide against each other.  (For example:  one caller pointed out that Haiti and the Dominican Republic are on the same island and what a difference there was between them.  How could one plate and another exist under one island?!?  How could one city get hit by a hurrican and not another? How could one part of an island flood and not another?  Gee, I don’t know!!!!)  It’s clear that neither Michael Berry or his listeners saw the News Hour piece — otherwise all of them would have been lamenting the fact that Haiti had it’s hopes dashed.

I would be irresponsible not to speculate that wingnut listeners, after having seen wall to wall coverage of poor black people (“it’s Katrina all over again!”) in a foreign country on their teevees all day, as well as yet another appearance by the president guy reading from his teleprompter, had decided by 5:00 CST that it was just not their problem.  But they have to have some excuse, so they fired up their computers and looked around Free Republic or other websites and decided that, heck, there are houses somewhere along the Texas coast that still haven’t been rebuilt since Hurricane Ike, there are Americans unemployed, our country is in debt, and you know what, fuck those Haitians.  I would be irresponsible not to speculate that many of Michael Berry’s listeners had had about enough of the blacks on the teevee for one day.  And last but not least, for every excuse each had for not giving or doing something for the people in Haiti, none of them did or will ever do a damn thing for anyone else.

It’s a no-brainer — whether or not to help.  In the aftermath of Katrina, many nations offered to help us, though that was more because they had competence in the problem areas rather than something about resources.  Those nations got burned by the Bush administration.  Again.  And wrt to Ike or unemployment, sorry, there is no equivalence.  Problems with Ike recovery are not about a lack of funds on a national level.  Far from it.  If all of Michael Berry’s callers are so worried about Ike victims (I can still hear Berry cry over the air “PEOPLE DIED!11!11!1!1!11!!), then they would have done something about it before now, dontchathink?

So, I send out a big FUCK YOU to Michael Berry’s callers.  The posse leader will keep riling up the troops no matter what I might say.

Pay Attention!!!! Or, else

This is for Kevin:

These are just a few of the things horribly wrong with this bill. It’s time to start over. It’s time to do this right. The Democrats are trying to rush this through for their own political agenda, and that is just wrong. All of us want to fix things in health care. There is agreement on many many things, but the Democrats are shutting out the Republicans and the American people on this.

We aren’t happy. If this passes, I don’t think you will see the usual resignation of defeat from the American people. This is different. We are done being railroaded. We are done being ignored. There will be the largest non violent protest since the days of civil rights.

You just wait and see.

I decided against mocking this post and instead just straight quoting it since people like Kevin and Cory seem unable at times to get my humor — I know, it’s MY fault.

Honestly, I can’t really understand the over-simplification of history encompassed in that second graph, nor can I “wait” to see more of the tea party crowd bellyache about the media, taxes, government takeover, yaddah yaddah yaddah.

(BTW — I don’t know what happened to the post you called unhinged, Kevin.  I didn’t delete it.  Sometimes WordPress eats things.  My apologies.)

Winding Down My Day as a Pajama Blogger

I have a few techical questions:

1) How do you deal with the belt on your gown/robe?  I tried stuffing both ends into the pockets, but sometimes I leave it in the chair.

2)  How do you get up the energy to follow up on anything?  I decided to watch a movie and now I am not really into the bloggy thingy.

3)  What?

You wingnuts are mighty fun :)

Nobody’s Married in Texas

Our lovely culture warriors have struck the stupid post again it seems.  Barbara Ann Radnofsky, who ran against Kay Bailey Hutchison for Senator the time Hutchison had promised she wouldn’t run, is now running for Texas Attorney General and she has looked into the silly amendment to the Texas Constitution passed in 2005 and is pointing out how silly it is.  Via McClatchy:

The amendment, approved by the Legislature and overwhelmingly ratified by voters, declares that “marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.” But the troublemaking phrase, as Radnofsky sees it, is Subsection B, which declares:

“This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.”

Architects of the amendment included the clause to ban same-sex civil unions and domestic partnerships. But Radnofsky, who was a member of the powerhouse Vinson & Elkins law firm in Houston for 27 years until retiring in 2006, says the wording of Subsection B effectively “eliminates marriage in Texas,” including common-law marriages.

She calls it a “massive mistake” and blames the current attorney general, Republican Greg Abbott, for allowing the language to become part of the Texas Constitution. Radnofsky called on Abbott to acknowledge the wording as an error and consider an apology. She also said that another constitutional amendment may be necessary to reverse the problem.

To me, this looks like over-reach on the part of the American Taliban.  It’s also a good stick to poke at them in the debates that will proceed the vote next year.

I remember going out into the parking lot at work and finding a couple of guys putting flyers on cars about the amendment back then.  I easily ran them off even though they could have proclaimed their right to be there.  They were just lackies for the people paying their checks.  These same people were asleep at the beginning of the Houston mayor’s race and have only woken up because Annice Parker made such a good show.  First they trashed their only possible candidate for losing, after having done nothing for him.  Then they have attacked the person they underestimated — through their fault only.  They are simple-minded and short-sighted as well.

I’m proud that Radnofsky is already out there working for the office she seeks.  She’s more than qualified and this is a good start.

Wingnutty-good, along with some fem on fem rants

Well it looks like both Sarah Palin and Dick Cheney will be in the Lone Star state next week.  Palin will be selling her book to people at Fort Hood (and perhaps appear with Rick Perry?), and Cheney will be stumping raising money for Kay Baily Hutchison.  (I’ll have to think of something to do to counter-act all that bad karma in one week.)

And speaking of Hutchison, why does everyone (Natalie Arceneaoux) relentlessly call her by her first name?  Is it because of Hillary?  And does anyone know whether or not it has been a bad idea for Bill White to show up in ads on every website I visit because NOW Hutchison says she will stay in her seat (that she promised not to run for and we should have Barb Radnovsky in at this point)?

I know it’s already old news, but I have always said that women are women’s worst enemies.  If you think men have been keeping a sister down, you have no idea.  Sure, men do their part, but there is nothing compared to the weight given to a woman’s complaint about another woman.  And there is no one who can cut down a woman more effectively than another woman — what I would call playing to the other side — but hey, if you aren’t cheating, you aren’t trying.  (And that sentiment goes for everything in life — financial stuff, business, work, everything.  Prove me wrong if you disagree.  Humans have no shame.)

Back to my point.  Palin says she gave Couric the crazy interview ahe did because she wanted to boost Couric’s self-esteem.  Hutchison is playing to stereotype.

This all exasperates me.

Then there is Annice Parker.  She has a family.  She has been elected 6 times in Houston elections.  She doesn’t hide who she is.  She looked like she wouldn’t get very much support in the mayoral election.  She didn’t have as much money as other candidates.  She’s not part of the Lanier people.

Today — well it’s been there since the wingnuts have been trashing (Edd Hendee called him a jackass — on the CHRISTIAN AIRWAVES REPEATEDLY)  their nominal candidate, Roy Morales, the day after the election.  Dan Patrick and Paul Bettencourt (aka quitter) are teaming up with the religious wingnuts to whip up the AMERICAN TALIBAN to defeat Parker — not because of her views or policies or past record — she is a LESBIAN. It’s also not because they want any black people in their party.  It’s just all they are left with and when choosing between bad choices, well a black man — who supports giving same sex benefits to city employees — is better than the gays taking over.  It’s just another variation of what has always gone on here in Houston.  Divide and conquer!  Except this time the AMERICAN TALIBAN are playing catch-up.

It might be time for me to do something about this.  I’m not a joiner type of person, but this might be the line for me.  I’ll think about it and decide tomorrow.

Added later — Oprah does the same thing.  The teasers about her interview with Palin include “everybody wants to know about Levi.”  Bitch.  Didn’t she launch that doctor show that pushed Jeopardy to late night?  Bitch.

“You can hardly walk up the sidewalk from I10 on Louisiana”

This according to a caller on KSEV AM 700 (Dan Patrick’s station) around 5:15 this evening.

Funny thing though, I was on Louisiana, between I10 and the “Tea” Whiner Party at that moment and this is what I saw:

tea06

tea05

tea041

Hey guys, you’re going the wrong way!  Maybe they couldn’t get into the plaza . . .

tea03

Maybe everyone is across the street . . .

tea02

Nope.   Maybe they’re one block down . . .

tea01

Nope.

At  the same time Paul Benttencourt was claiming (on KSEV) that the crowd was 4500 to 5000.

Jones Plaza is less than 400 ft. square.  It’s not just an empty block, but has structures and bleachers.  Even if each person only took up 1 square foot each, the place could only hold 2000 people max and that’s without any structures.

Google is not cooperating, so just go to maps and type in 601 Louisiana, Houston, TX and you can see for yourself.

On the way to dinner, my friend and I drove by again — around 6:20.  The protest hadn’t moved to the post office yet, the streets were still open, and it didn’t look like it had spread to other blocks.

On the way home a little after 9:00, there were about 10 lonely teabaggers and city workers were out cleaning up their mess.

I wonder how much this temper tantrum cost Houston?

Update:

I don’t know what Kathleen is trying to pull here, but the top picture is of Jones Plaza, and at least some of the people in the ones she claims are of those who can’t get in seem to be sitting down.   She’s not the most honest person I have run into on the internets, so I’m guessing she’s just trying to fool the easily fooled.