Thursday, April 07, 2005

2005 Bubba Awards (Early Edition)

OK, here is the first installment of the 2005 Bubba Awards. Not a lot of thought has gone into these, so I may change my mind in the coming weeks. Any categories I missed?


The Most Unlikely Person to Become My Hero Award goes to – Scott Ritter (also here)
Runner Up – Howard Dean
Second Runner Up – Michael Moore

Most Realistic Impersonation of Dr. Evil Award goes to – Tom DeLay
Runner Up – Karl Rove

The Liberal Media’s Secret Weapon Award goes to – Jon Stewart
Distant runner up – Paul Krugman

The Best Damn Show on TV goes to – The Daily Show
Nothing is even a close second

Scariest 2005 Prediction Likely to Come True – Peak Oil
Runner up – US Bombs Iran

Most Impressive Athletic Performance of 2004 -5 – Roger Federer

Funniest Blog on the Web - Jesus' General (Hey, I'm definitely not the only one who believes this)

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Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Tom DeLay...a Tribute Song

Hey folks…its my long awaited tribute song for Tom DeLay. It is to the tune of Delta Dawn, which if you don’t remember already, should come back to you pretty quickly. Enjoy!

Tom DeLay
Who’s that meeting with you today?
Could it be a lobbyist from Washington?
And did I hear him say
He’d be meeting you here Friday
To take you to his mansion in Russia.

He’s an 11 term congressman
So nobody’d say he’s lazy.
All the folks round Texas
Should know he’s crazy.
Gerrymandering around
With our legislative quotas.
Driving all our Democrats
Up to Oklahoma.

In his younger days
They’d call him exterminator.
But now that he’s pro-life
He’s the Hammer.
Goes around Washington
Full of power and pride
Taking political advantage
Of other people’s lives.

Tom DeLay
Who’s that meting with you today?
Could it be a wealthy friend from TRMPAC?
And did I hear him say
You’d get money by election day
to pay for golfing and a few hookers.

Tom DeLay
Who’s that meeting with you today?
Could it be your wife and daughter, for their cash?
Up to now you’ve gotten away
But one day you’re gonna pay
And millions of us who hate you will just laugh.

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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Texas in the 21st Century

A big thanks to Hugo for reminding me about this post. For those of you who don't read the back pages of this blog, the dark spaces where the trolls lurk, helpful reader Hugo posted two very interesting articles (one and two) from Alt7, questioning the level of intellectual freedom possible in a place where disagreement is considered blasphemy and ant-patriotic. They make for interesting reading and bring up a some very good points. And they reminded me of a post I'd been meaning to write on a similar topic. Oh, hurray!

I read a very interesting article awhile ago about education, evolution and jobs in the future. It was so good and I was so going to write something meaningful about it, until my computer broke, and I had to go out of town, and goblins broke into my house, cleaned the place up and now I can't find anything, specifically that article I was so excited to write about. So guess what I am going to do? I'm going to write about it anyway and make up the bits I don't remember. Therefore, when you read that Texas is 49th in science education, followed only by Alabama, it could be wrong. Texas could be 48th, followed only by Alabama and Mississippi. But you get the point, most of what I write is ABSOLUTELY TRUE, based on facts I read somewhere, sometime, by someone. Don't go disbelieving or disagreeing with me just because you know I'm lying.

The article started by questioning Gov. Perry's commitment to biotech jobs in Texas, because the actions of the Republican party seem determined to limit Texas' ability to compete with states like California and North Carolina. Seems the biotech industry has done some impressive research what makes a productive work environment, and their number one requirement is an educated populace. Not just workers directly in the field, but medical researchers and lawyers and suppliers and voters. It seems a more informed population makes for a more profitable business. When the industry sees limits on stem cell research being voted on by the state legislature, they start to worry. They start to look deeper into the state's education history as a whole. And the thing they look at most closely is where the state stands on the teaching of evolution in school. Teach evolution openly and without question, the students do better in science in general and the workforce is educated and accepting of the necessities of the industry. States that do the worst in science are ones that insist on teaching creationism or the new catch phrase, intelligent design. Guess where Texas is? 49, right behind Alabama.

Now North Carolina is as red a state as Texas, yet they manage to lead the nation in science education. How? The people accept evolution, stem cell research and all that lovely money that the industry pumps into their economy. Where they used to rely on tobacco money, NC now leads in biotechnology. The oil industry will not drive Texas' economy forever (or very much longer). It is important that we identify beneficial industries, educate ourselves and promote this great state as the land of opportunity it once was and can be again. We do ourselves, our children and our state no favor by choosing ignorance. Education, open discourse, and a willingness to evolve are the keys to our future. I just hope the people of Texas decide to look ahead instead of falling into the past.

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Monday, April 04, 2005

Filibustering

If you think the title means this post will keep going on for ever, fear not. I don't no that much about the subject. If you wonder just when I became so old and decrepit that I could address such an arcane subject, join the club. I feel my arteries hardening, hear my joints creaking and see my hair going grey, literally as I type this. Suddenly I'm Strom Thurman, Robert Byrd or Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, instead of the young, gorgeous, sexy vixen I awoke this morning. However, there is a point to be made here and for the sake of truth, justice and the American way, I'm going to make it; I'm not so young anymore (still dead sexy though). But enough about me, this is supposed to be about the filibuster.

In this morning's mail I had a message from John Kerry asking me to support his call for Senate Republicans not allow Majority Leader Bill Frist to kill the filibuster. Now the first thing I asked myself was, where did Kerry get my e-mail. I though I left a no forwarding message after the elections. Then I started to wonder why he was so concerned about something so quaint as the filibuster. It is immortalized on silver screen and in history in both positive and negative ways. Strom Thurman used it to block civil rights legislation in the 50's and 60's. A young Jimmy Stewart, as Mr. Smith, used it to make his point as a junior senator. I had no idea if it had any relevance to our current world; and then Senator Kerry's e-mail came.

I must admit to doing a bit of research before writing this post. If you would like to see my source material check out Yurica Report. Most of the information I read in Amar's two very informative essays, but look around the place. There's a lot of good stuff archived there. What surprised me the most is that much of it is dated 2003, including the Amar articles. This filibuster debate has been brewing for quite awhile, but it is coming to the forefront now why? Because Bill Frist and Tom DeLay are so pissed about the Terri Schiavo case, they are ready to go to any extreme to change the face of our federal judiciary.

Did the hairs on the back of your neck just stand on end? Well, they should have. Remember that Frist and DeLay are both members of the very conservative Christian right, who's stated mission is to make the American government more Biblically based. They own the Executive Branch. They own the Legislative Branch. And only one small thing stands in the way of them and the third and final branch of government- come on, say it with me, the filibuster. Right now the Senate minority can block the appointment of federal judges by using the filibuster to keep the names from ever coming to a vote. It takes a simple majority of 51 to confirm a nominee; but it takes 60 votes (a supermajority) to break a filibuster. This is how the 19th century Senators left a loophole for Davy to beat Goliath.

Now, some may claim that filibusters stall the work of the senate; they do. And others claim that they deny the will of the majority; also quite true. But America is a democracy, where the rights of the minority are to be respected and protected, that is why the framers of our constitution made three branches of government, and checks and balances, and a bunch of other safeguards for our way of life. We should commend their thoughtfulness, and show our appreciation by standing up to those who want to change our government for personal, political or religious reasons, by saying not just no, but hell no to giving up our rights as citizens, even if we are technically in the minority. It seems especially hypocritical of those in the majority, who have worked so hard for democracy and protection of minority rights in Iraq, to want so badly to destroy them here at home.

Ooops, I think I filibustered!

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