Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Those peaceful, easy feelings....

I nearly let one slip by us.

Happy birthday, Willie Nelson. You’ve been making great tunes and friends for 80 years.

Rock on!

By the way, the next time someone says that marijuana is bad for your health, just point to Willie. Good hair. Works hard. Lived strong and hard for 80 years so far. Don’t bogart that joint, my friend…pass it over to me.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

We don't have a dog in this fight.

“Islamist Rebels Create Dilemma on Syria Policy”
That was the headline in the New York Times yesterday concerning the problem with supporting the rebels over President Assad and the loyalists in Syria.  But there is a bigger problem. It isn’t our fight. We have nothing to do with it. And every time we get involved in one of these civil wars, we choose the wrong side and we end up staying there forever.

This isn’t our Civil War. Our’s is over— for the most part it ended in 1865, although there are a few hold outs in south Carolina and Georgia and Eat Texas who would beg to argue the point, but historians mostly agree that the American civil War is over — and Syria sent no one to aid us in the fight. We should return the favor in kind.  Stay out of the skirmishes and the bloodshed. We should not be the police of the world. We have enough problems at home to take care rather than go halfway around the globe sticking our noses in some winless civil war that the Arabs have hatched.

I am truly saddened at the killing and loss of lives that has occurred there. But we didn’t start it. We didn’t cause it and we should stay the hell away from it.

Saddam Hussein had Al Qaeda controlled in Iraq. He had the Sunni/Shite situation under control. But we invaded his country and now there is a bombing every week between one side and the other. Militants on both sides hate us. Why repeat the fiasco in Syria. Stay out. Stay at home.

We don’t have enough money at home to run our own affairs.  Why spend it on people who will eventually hate us anyway? We never learn in these situations.

America never wins when we get involved in these messes.  Never. Can you say Vietnam?

By the way, there is no major oil there, either.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Jesus. The Baptist. And Foxx Nudes.

Yesterday the DOD released a statement which said that malware discovered on the Southern Baptist web site was the reason it had been blocked from military personnel. For those of you who do not know what malware is, it is a virus placed on a site or on emails by malicious hackers to cause disruptions in communications  It can be spyware or destructive ware or just nuisance ware...it is all bad and all the DOD was doing was protecting enlisted men and women's computers, as well as their own network until the source of the malware could be located and destroyed.  Kind of like spraying for West Nile.  Not pleasant but has to be done to get rid of the disease carrying mosquitoes.  Of course there are even those who say that is a communistic conspiracy to kill us all off.  But so be it. Fluoride in the drinking water is too, to some nuts.

Any way, not one word of this came back from the "news" sources who cried foul yesterday.  "Oh the thought of it. Taking away our God-given rights and our constitutionally protected rights...and so on blah blah blah..."  Not one of those sources has stepped up...nor have the brainwashed followers of those sources who pounded this site with complaint letters...not one has written a mea culpa (for your Baptist that is Latin for I'm sorry I screwed up.)

The truth is, they wanted to feel persecuted. It helps their cause.  'Obama is out to get us. Out to destroy America. Out to kill off all our freedoms. He is the sole cause of all the evil in world.' That kind of thinking gives them something to lash out because thier small-minded world view is slipping away.

So let it be known the DOD was exercising prudent IT recovery and protection.  They said they get dozens of website weekly that they have to get to and have cleansed. This time it happened to have the name Southern Baptist attached to it, and you would have thought North Korea was living in the White House and sharing breakfast with the Obamas. "The anti-christ is taking away our web!!!!"

To my illiterate friends on the right who can't seem to read past the headlines in Foxx Nudes...grow up. Open your eyes and your mind and let it expand beyond yesterday. There is a whole new world out there to discover. Yes, some of it is frightening and we need protecting from. But a lot of it is marvelous and needs to be embraced. But to look at it intelligently, you must open your eyes wide open. You don;t have to agree with everything that is out there.i sure don;t. But I also don;t take rumor as news.

But what we don't need is rumors and innuendo taken as fact just because some goober with the American flag waving behind his silly-looking head tells you it is the truth. Dig a little.  I did.  And I found the truth for you.  Jesus is doing okay at the military sites.  He is home with the men and women in uniform protecting you.  The ones you need to worry about are the right-wingers lying to you daily.

Think before you speak.

I ran into a couple yesterday that at one time I counted as friends. We have drifted apart in recent years. First, because they moved to Colorado and second because they became so ensconced with the GOP that their lives and attitudes towards everything changed. (Interesting enough this on the heels of his conversion into a very right-wing “bible” church.)

They were in town for the dedication ceremonies of the Bush Library at SMU.  I said it was interesting to see five living Presidents on the stage all at the same time. “Kind of historic, don’t you think?” I said. There was nothing political about the statement in any way.  It was simply the perspective that it is truly a rare occasion to have five leaders of the free world, the most exclusive club in the world, all together at the same time. The husband immediately shot back,” Well, I only counted four Presidents. Obama is an imposter.”

I said, ”Bill, I labored through eight years of George Bush and President Chaney, but at least I didn’t call them names.” (Idiots was only a descriptor.) Bill’s wife had recently passed around a cartoon on the Internet with the world “asshole” describing our current Commander-in-Chief. “How is it that your vile is so great now against a man who has at best been a moderate Democrat?”

“He is ruining everything America has stood for. Everything.”

“Everything?” I asked.

“Yes. Obamacare is undermining America’s freedoms. His outrageous taxes are crippling the economy. And his secret wars both on our soil and abroad are undermining American’s foreign policy that we have worked for decades to establish.”

“Like invading a sovereign country for no reason. Like Bush did with Iraq?”  He ignored by fact-filled jab. “Weapons of Mass Destruction?”  I asked. He again ignored me.

“John, the man is turning us into the Soviet Union. Right before our eyes.”

“With Obamacare?”

“Yes. It is socialism rampant through our land.”

“Bill, you went to college. Sally, you learned to read and write.  What happened to you two? Have you closed your eyes to facts?  Obamacare is based on private enterprise. Insurance companies, owned by American stockholders offering insurance under the mandate of a government program to insure that every American has health coverage — that is what it is. It is not, by any stretch of the imagination socialized medicine. It even came from a conservative Republican think thank: the Heritage Foundation. The Republican nominee had the same law enacted in Massachusetts when he was governor there. Where did you get your stuff? Fox News?  Rush Limburger?  Did you know that up to 49% of adults in the U.S. do not have adequate care right now. And in 2014 that changes. They will have available to them insurance. And to their kids and wives and any pre-existing needs will be covered.”  This is especially good for Sally who had breast cancer a few years ago and I know that they were turned down by several insurance plans a few years back. My point struck home.

“Well some things are good about it, I suppose.”  This was Sally now.  Bill was still having no part of it.

“He is destroying America. He is a complete communistic bastard.”

There it had been said. A pejorative had been used. “If I had called Regean or Bush (either one of them) a bastard or and asshole, like you two have done, you would be on me like flies to the slaughter. “Un-American, you would say and you would point your boney fingers at me and denounce me. But you can get away with it because you have your political-religious convictions behind you making it okay not only constitutionally but biblically, as well.  You two are white trash.”

I walked away in disgust. Later that afternoon, Sally called me to apologize for their harsh words and actions. “It hasn’t been the same since his conversation,” she told me. “He is as radical as those two nut jobs in Boston.”

“I know, Sally.  That is what disturbs me. He is sounding more and more like a lot of right-wing Americans. They speak louder and louder and think less and less.  And Bill used to be real bright. Very bright. Now he is a programmed automaton. And Sally, you’re not far behind him.  I hope you two get help.”

She began to cry. I wish I felt sorry for her, but I think the pain came from inside, not from my words but from her self-conviction that she knew how wrong she and Bill have been.

I want all my readers to have political convictions. I want them to express their point-of-view. I want them to be able to stand up and say, “I disagree with this President or this congressman or that state legislator. I want to put forward a different perspective.” But what I am tired of is the name-calling and the finger pointing at the President of the United States who was elected by a huge majority of the people of this country and be called vile and villainous names.

He doesn’t deserve that. The office doesn’t deserve that. Our country doesn’t deserve that. It is time for civility. Time for the rancor to subside.

President Obama is the leader — our leader. You may not like him and some of his policies, but he is the man we elected to be in charge. Just like we had to sit and watch under Bush, you may have to bite your tongue and do the same with Obama. That’s how the game is played. In four years (3.5 now…) you can vote someone new into that office. But remember this. He or she will not be perfect. They have a job to do and they will do it with the best of their ability aimed at helping America as they see it. And it might not be the way you see it. But none of the leaders on that stage at SMU, and none that I can see in places of power (no matter how heatedly I disagree with them) are trying to destroy America.

Get the fuck over it.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Technology gone too far. Get the picture?

I recently saw a demonstration for the new Google Glasses due to hit the market in late 2014. A camera in a set of sunglasses activated by the eyes. Just to recap: we have cameras in our glasses, in our telephones and in our purses.  Where will it end?

Why do we need this?  Whatever happened to taking good ole pictures with a camera you raised to your eye, focused and shot? Whatever happened to figuring out your f stop, focal distance and timing. Or if you want to get really simple, what ever happened to point and shoot cameras?  Have we become so lame as to need cameras on our eye glasses, so we don’t have to do anything for a picture but blink? 

And what about the people on the other end of your cold stare.  It is one ting to have a box raised to an eye and a shutter open and close.  You have time to cover your face or hold up your hand. But with this new technology, everyone becomes a spy. Everyone becomes a paparazzi. Is that what we want?

I want a good camera in a box with a really good lens I can lift to my eye, focus and shoot. I want my subjects to know I am photographing them. I don’t want to be a spy or paparazzi.  I want to be a photographer with a camera. Not an interloper with really nifty spy glasses.

Friday, April 19, 2013

What's next for West

Clean up.

Pick up.

Start over.


It will be a long hard road for the folks who call West, Texas home. Homes were destroyed. Lives lost. Life disrupted in a way that will not soon be forgotten. And it is that memory (those memories) that will be the hardest to bulldoze down and carry off.

It will take a village.

And a state.

And a nation.

West can't expect to go it alone. It will need all our help. But it will need our space, too. It will need our gawking eyes and roving cameras and microphones to go away for a while. to leave the residents alone to grieve in mass and in solitude. And only as the dust of grief settles, and only then, should we come back in. But come back we must to offer whatever we can to help that great little berg rebuild. Both physically and emotionally.

I heard one reporter say, the best thing that could happen for West right now is football season.  There is a modicum of truth to those words. Normalcy. That is what West needs a big dose of it. And we can all help them with that. Our hopes and prayers is that soon, West can be normal again. And we can stop there on our trips to Austin and to the Schlitterbahn and buy our pastries. And we can pay our respects by recognizing this great little town as just that. A great little town.

And then we, too, can move on and give them their space.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Give me the facts. Just the facts.

Explosions in Boston and in West, Texas. Big news. Horrifying pictures. Human lives at risk and snuffed out in an instant. It is sickening.

But what is worse in my opinion is the rush to get the story on the air first. To be the lead dog in the pack to report the number of dead or injured, that is the news game today. And with a non-stop cycle of TV news, with on-going talking heads trying to play ‘we beat you— we were first’ and lauding it over the competition, the regard for accuracy has flown out the window.

Being first isn’t important, you morons. We want the news correct. Accurate.  Yes timely is good; but I’d rather you take a few minutes longer agonizing over your details rather than boasting we were the first to bring you such and such.

At one point hundreds had died in West.  Dozens in Boston.  Listen, it was bad enough as it was. Let’s get the details right, or leave them on the sidelines until we do. This frantic pace to be the first to get a detail on the air is ridiculous.

Network news has become a joke. I used to think in large part due to Fox. But I see most of the other services falling into the same trap. “We’ve got to be the first ones to say it.”  Slow down. Take a deep breath. I’m not going to switch the station just because you aren’t pounding my head with empty, uncorroborated facts.  I’ll wait.

You should do the same. We want the story right.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Beyond Boston

What happened in Boston yesterday was horrific.  It should happen nowhere. Innocent people out for enjoyment and pleasure, engaged in a sporting activity and suddenly destruction. It is the act of terrorism. It is despicable and cowardly.

The big question is now, 'who done it?'.  While many speculate that it was an attack from enemies overseas and other defining it more pointedly at Islamic extremists, I think we need to slow down and the let the law enforcement personnel do their job.

There is no need for a rush to judgment and a rush to vindication.  We should, instead, look for justice, truth and answers to this terrible day in Boston and America’s history.

In Texas many have rushed to judgment in the death of the county prosecutor and the D.A. and his wife in Kaufman County.  The Arian Brotherhood was all but tried and convicted in the newspapers and on television. (They may still play a role in this, who knows?) But now police have a suspect with a motive and a fairly straight line of circumstances that place him in front of the victims. Not a member of the Arian Brotherhood. Instead, he is a former Justice of the Peace. The lesson: don’t ump to conclusions. Let the investigation play itself out. Speculation at this point is just that. Speculation.

What needs to happen is that Boston and its people need our support in heeling.  AND WE DO NOT NEED A KNEE JERK REACTIOIN FROM HOMELAND SECURITY TO CHECK EVERYONE’S SHOES AT EVERY SPORTING EVENT. We do not need metal detectors at every corner in every town that hosts a sporting outing, be it running or little league soccer.

I beg of authorities around the country, “Do not make us even more imprisoned in our free movement by the actions of a radical or two. Just look at what Al Qaeda did to our airports. Show restraint. Show reason. Be firm and vigilant in searching out those who inflicted this damage. 

But do not punish Americans in the way we live because of fear.

Monday, April 15, 2013

What a refreshing change.

 Judy Liimatainen is a refreshing political candidate in our District 14.

Last election cycle in Dallas someone spent over a million dollars for a city council seat that pays $35,000 a year. Really? Talk about opening the door for graft and under the table deal making. A million dollars — think about that.

Then comes this year’s elections. All the special interest groups are out interviewing candidates wanting to make endorsements — wanting to give money away so that their influence will be heard and felt at city hall. It is grease the palm time in big D.

“What can you do for us?”  They ask.  The Dallas Citizens Council, who has tried to run Dallas for decades — they ask. The bankers. The developers. The city workers and the police and the fire and the‑ well you get the picture. They all want to know what the candidate is going to do for them. Every candidate is out there trying to get their endorsements and their cash.  More cash to run their elections.

All except one.  Judy Liimatainen.

No that is not a typo. Her name is Finnish as from Finland. But Judy is all American. And as such she believes that government at all levels has gotten rotten because of the huge amounts of money changing hands for favors. That is why she is running her campaign as a grassroots operation: contributions from neighbors and friends in District 14. No endorsements. No special interest groups. Just plain folks —people who want a voice at City Hall and who have been shouted out by the likes of Big Banks, Big Energy, Big Developers and the big law firms that  loom over Dallas.

Why is this important? Here is one example. Dozens of sites in Dallas— streets coming to and from downtown —both sides of North Central Expressway frontage roads have lanes shut down for apartment and condo construction. Really?  When did we start yielding our traffic flow to developers and builders who want to use the public streets as their loading docks and parking lots during construction?  Didn’t our last mayor work as the president of a giant construction company?  Maybe it started with him. As an aside,  not a single street was ever closed in any direction when building the Empire State Building in New York. We can’t even build a two-story condo with out spilling into the on-coming lanes of traffic. And when they leave? The streets are torn up and a mess. Who pays to fix them? You and me, buddy. Ye old taxpayer. But try and get one of the establishment-backed city council members to listen to you about this. Deaf ears is what you will get.  Like I said that is but one example. Each of you can think of things in your own neighborhoods that the city looks the other way over. Why?  Big money has told them to.

Judy thinks it is time people have an ear and a voice downtown running the government. That is why she refuses special interest money. Pac money is a no-no, too. Just simple five, ten and fifteen dollar gifts from friends and people who want to see Dallas Government return to the people who live here, not the corporations, special interests and financial folks who work behind the scenes for their own good.

They have always said, ‘you can’t fight city hall.’  But you can sure buy it. And ours has been bought and paid for decades over. It is great to see a candidate trying to buck that system. Let’s hear it for the regular people… and a candidate who will listen to them. A candidate who isn’t owned by a company or a political group or a special interest group. We want a candidate that has our best interests at heart…not a special interest’s checking account at hand.

Thank you Ms. Liimatainen. Your candidacy has restored my faith in American politics. (At least on the local level.)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A straight man’s open letter about Gay and Lesbian rights.

 In a system that is based on equality under the law, we have become a land that sees some citizens as second-class citizens based on religious teachings. I respect someone’s religious points-of-view for themselves, but they have no place trumping the Constitution of the country.  No place.

It is time we quit quoting St. Paul and start reading our own Constitution. We are a land of free men and women and we are one under the law. There are no castes, no classes, no subjugated minorities here in America. And when it comes to marriage, we have only one standard —that two people love each other and swear their allegiances to one another to protect, honor and obey each other in faithful unions. (I dare say there are many of us in the straight world who have lived far below this standard…but the standard is just as high for the gay couple as it is for the straight couple. Let’s hope they can do better with it than we have. By the way, the last time I looked the national divorce rate among straight couples stood right at 50%. Not sure the argument that gay and lesbian marriage will diminish the institution of  marriage holds up very well in that light.)

We used to not let black and white marry.  We used to not let them tie the knot  because “we” the people said it was not acceptable. But “we” the people were proven wrong. There is nothing wrong with people of different backgrounds, religious backgrounds, ethnic backgrounds, financial backgrounds, geographical background come together in marriage — heck we’ll now even let Republicans marry Democrats.

It is time that we put this nonsense out to pasture. If the First Baptist Church of Dallas doesn’t want to preform the gay weddings, so be it. That is their right. But they can’t deny the union of a marriage of a gay couple, nor should any other entity — such as Baylor Hospital to name but one of many, because it rubs their theology the wrong way. A lot of what Baptist believe rubs me the wrong way, but in America I have to give them the right to worship how they see fit, so long as it does not injure me, my family, or other members of society. They can even be wrong — I still must allow them to practice their views publicly and openly. And they and others must give Gay and Lesbian couples the right to be married couples. 

There are financial, legal and constitutional issues involved here. Issues that do not have a place in the Old or New Testament. They are issues of being citizen of a land that says we are one people, all equal before the law.

There are none greater under the law and none lesser under that same law. And if you take away the civil liberties of a minority because you don’t like what they stand for, your rights then become weaker in the process.  That is always something to which the Right-wingers and the religious zealots never get a grasp. The more they try and narrow the playing field, the bigger chance they have of eliminating their own rights down the road. Their own bigotry threatens the very freedoms they fear of losing.

This discrimination is a two edged sword. Be careful my straight friends. It can cut both ways. What happened to Roger and Allen could come your way. The pendulum doth swing.

What Actually Happened To That Same-Sex Couple In The Missouri Hospital

By Zack Ford on Apr 12, 2013 at 10:25 am

There has been a lot of speculation as to what actually transpired when Roger Gorley was arrested away from his husband Allen’s bedside in a Missouri hospital earlier this week. Despite the fact Roger and Allen have granted each other power of attorney for medical decisions, the Research Medical Center claimed that Roger was “disruptive and belligerent,” arguing that is why the police arrested him and removed him from the facility.

Now, Roger’s daughter Amanda has shared a detailed account of what transpired that paints a picture even more offensive than many may have imagined. The full account can be read here as well as some additional details she shared in an interview with blogger John Aravosis. Here is a breakdown of the family’s circumstances and what transpired in that hospital room according to Amanda:
The Couple’s Background
  • Allen suffers from severe depression and is currently undergoing electro-shock treatment (ECT) twice a month because his medications are no longer allowing him to function normally.
  • Allen has specifically excluded his family from having any say over his medical decisions because they have not been understanding of the impact of his depression.
  • Not only have Roger and Allen granted each other power of attorney, but they are known throughout the hospital as a proud gay couple because they are regularly there for Allen’s treatments.
  • Allen’s family has not been supportive of his relationship with Roger.
How Allen Was Admitted On Tuesday
  • Amanda was taking care of Allen while Roger was at work at Tuesday, but when they returned home from a few errands, Allen’s brother Lee and sister Pat were waiting at the door with paramedics and police.
  • Due to Allen’s sluggish state, the police determined he was a “danger to himself” and decided to take him to the hospital against his will. Rather than taking him to St. Luke’s Hospital in Lee’s Summit, the local hospital where his regular doctors are, they took him to the Research Medical Center in Kansas City, which he only goes to for his ECT. They ignored Amanda’s attempts to explain Allen’s medical needs and procedures.
  • Amanda called her father, Roger, and urged him to get to Allen’s side immediately. When he arrived at the hospital, Lee was also there.
The Family Confrontation
  • Lee asserted that he was not going to allow Roger to make decisions for Allen and that he would instead. This enraged Roger, who replied, “No you won’t! This is my husband.  I know what he wants and needs. You are never around.  You need to leave.”
  • The nurse informed Roger that because of his agitated state, he needed to leave. When he explained that he intended to stay with his husband, she replied, “I know who you two are. You need to leave.” Refusing to acknowledge their legal relationship, she called the police to have Roger forcibly removed.
  • Allen, who was in and out of consciousness, objected as he was able, saying, “I want him here.”
  • A follow-up story from Fox 4 suggests that Roger and Lee were having a loud fight, but doesn’t otherwise contradict this account.
The Violent Arrest
  • The Kansas City police ordered Roger to leave, and when he did not comply, they considered this a refusal to cooperate and began to forcibly remove him. When Roger refused to let go of the gurney’s railing, an officer began karate chopping his wrists to get him to release.
  • The police then wrestled Roger to ground, knocking his glasses off his face, his hearing aids out of his ears, and nearly breaking his wrist in the process. They put a knee to his back and wrenched his wrists around to arrest him. They changed his handcuffs four different times.
  • The police assumed because Roger is gay that he must have HIV. The brutal struggle had drawn blood, and one officer was so disturbed that he insisted on using gloves to handle Roger and refused to even take back his handcuffs.
The Aftermath
  • It took three hours to process Roger at the station and bail him out of jail.
  • He was fined $600 for disorderly conduct and trespassing. Fox4 confirmed this from a police report.
  • According to Amanda’s account, he was also issued a restraining order prohibiting him from stepping foot on the hospital grounds to see his husband.
  • Later, the hospital finally asked Lee to leave as well, at Allen’s request.
The hospital’s statement on Thursday claimed that there was no restraining order, and according to Amanda’s last update, this was the first information indicating Roger could see Allen again since his arrest on Tuesday. Aravosis confirms via Amanda that the hospital did allow Roger back in to see his husband Thursday night, but only after he “showed up and threw a fit.” She says her family is considering its options and has been talking with the local ACLU as they plan a response. Federal officials are similarly gathering evidence and intent to respond “in a speedy manner.”

With these details, both the hospital’s and police’s actions seem more suspect, not less. At the foundation of the story remains the fact that Roger and Allen’s relationship was treated as inferior. Because they did not have a state-recognized marriage, they were regarded as legal strangers despite even having set up the available legal protections for each other. Roger, in turn, was subjected not just to discrimination but police brutality and legal consequences. This tragic story speaks volumes about the consequences of continuing to deny same-sex couples the right to marry and how they continue to be treated as second-class citizens. Notably, not one conservative organization has mentioned this story since it broke.

            It is time for us to put down the war drums over Constitutional issues because of religion. Our entire foundation as a people, as a country, as a society was designed and built to protect us against just such incursions. We didn’t want the Church of England telling us how to live our lives or how to practice our theology. Neither do we want the Evangelicals doing likewise today.

            Roger and Allen are just the tip of the iceberg. Many more have suffered outside of the headlines and newsreels. I have had friends right here in Dallas to be treated the same way as this couple in Missouri. This is a national disgrace. It is time we stop this persecution, America. We send our uniformed young people around the globe in armed defense of others’ freedoms…we should allow our own people to be just as free.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The theory of the relivance of Joe Barton

Okay, let’s try this out for my friends who do not believe in science.

If you stand on top of your garage (if you do not have a garage substitute something more than a story tall…it is easy to do…) Now jump.  What happens?

I’ll give you a second here.  Enough time? Right. You fall and bust your ass.  Why?  Gravity.

Have you seen gravity?  Nope?  Neither have I.  In fact neither has anyone in science. That is why it is called the theory of gravity. We know it is there. We can explain parts of it, but it is still one of those evolving mysteries for mankind to solve.

Oh there was that word.  Evolving.  Gives you the willies doesn’t it?  But stay with me. We’ve got miles to go yet.

Joe Barton, our congressman from Arlington, Texas has just proclaimed that humans have nothing to do with global warming.  (He is at last after years and years and hundreds of thousands of dollars from the hydrocarbon industries finally admitted that global change is occurring. That alone is huge.) But buddies of Joe rushed in on talk radio today to say that global warming is just a theory.  As one bright guy said, ”Like evolution. They think they can pass this off onto us like they tried evolution.”

Just listening to him reminds me how right Darwin truly was.  He is just one step out of the primordial goo. But I digress.  The viewpoint was that if it is a theory it is not good science. It is not real.  Let’s go back to your sore ass from the fall off the garage.  Not real?  Afraid not.

To say something is a theory does not conclude it is a myth. It is a theory because all of the parts of its developing laws can’t be explained or examined. We have not encountered all edges of it in our experimentations.

So your sore ass tells you that gravity is a cruel mistress. Good.  Now let it remind you that other things science and scientists deal with are also theories, but they are just as real and there is just as much evidence as to their existence. They may be still called theories because we are still gathering knowledge about their totality and how they work.

Climate change is real. We have empirical data on it.  Whether Joe Barton and his non-believers want to admit it or not. And mankind is a huge factor in the development of the gasses that are warming the earth.  Not the only reason. But one of them. An important one, too. And we play a role that could be changed.  We can’t stop volcanoes. But we can reduce and then eliminate hydrocarbons emissions into our atmosphere.  But of course, if we did that,  Joe would lose his job as a mouthpiece for the oil and gas lobby. I am assuming that…it is just a theory.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

In Dallas you must pay the piper for his own mess.

Dallas does it again.

The city of Dallas took some huge donations to build the Klyde Warren Park. And it is truly great. So great that record crowds throng there every weekend enjoying the Dallas Spring weather and the new recreational area just off the arts district. It reminds one of Chicago or New York.  Now here is the rub.  The city of Dallas doesn’t want to pay for upkeep.

Just like they have stalled on the upkeep of the arts district itself. Budget is too tight building new bridges. (Who is going to pay for repainting them every dozen or so years?)

So the masterminds down at I.M. Pei’s Criminal Hall came up with a brainstorm. Let’s tax the businesses that run along side the park a maintenance fee. Perfect. Those businesses whose parking is blocked and who have trashed spilled into their laws and across their parking lots, ‘lets let them pay to have the city’s mess cleaned up.’

But wait. The businesses say they don’t want to pay. The DMA especially take offense of having to pay. So too do the banks, the Fed and any number of commercial properties that border the park.  It is once again a case of Dallas reaching head-long into a “civic improvement” project without thinking it through.

We were good at this under Mayor Lepert and his cohorts. (And he had the audacity to call Obama an empty suit.)  We’ve got his bridge to nowhere and now the park that the city can’t keep clean. What’s next.  Oh yeah…two more bridges.  And the city wants to place more parks throughout downtown.  And who will pay for their upkeep?

I can also lay some of the blame in tis game on former mayor Laura Miller for running the cowboys away from a downtown Dallas address.  Think of the revenue that would have brought into city coffers and I bet Jerry’s crew would clean up after themselves and leave a little left over for civic duties.

Dallas is run by a bunch of rich white guys. And most of them are dullards when it comes to truly planning for a great city. Bridges and parks are fine. But infrastructure is what we need. Infrastructure we are willing to pay for and to maintain.

If you decide to take a bunch of cash from a rich white guy and build a park across the street from me, don’t knock on my door looking for a tax increase to pick up the trash and to water the grass.  That’s on you, City Hall. You got yourself in this mess…now pay for it.