Tag Archives: Texas

Best and Worst News of the Week – January 16, 2021

The National Rifle Association (NRA) – the gun rights group that places the value of firearms above the welfare of human beings – has filed for bankruptcy.  The organization, which is two burning crosses shy of a hate group, came under fire (pun deliberately intended) by New York State Attorney General Leticia James for allegedly diverting millions of dollars for personal trips and other questionable expenditures.  That someone dared to question the inner workings of the NRA is probably only slightly more upsetting than the fact a Negro woman is at the forefront of the challenge.

The worst news – at least for me – is that the NRA has now filed paperwork to incorporate in my home state of Texas, a move that doesn’t surprise me.  Like most states run by Republican legislatures, Texas values the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution more than the 1st (which guarantees free speech and the right to vote for EVERYONE) and the sanctity of life itself (except when said life is still inside the womb).

Texas Governor Greg Abbott embraced the NRA with open bullets by tweeting: “Welcome to Texas – a state that safeguards the 2nd Amendment.”

Of course he would say that!

For this pencil-penis crowd of perpetually angry and entitled mostly White men and their cavern-vagina female acolytes, the right to own firearms of any and all kinds became brutally clear after the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre.  Yet another deranged White male decided to ambush an elementary school and kill 20 children and 6 teachers, before – as cowards are wont to do – turning the gun on himself.  Since the killer supposedly had a learning disability, many had wanted doctors to be able to dissect and examine his brain.  I said they should dissect and examine the brain of his mother, who had collected a slew of guns and kept them in her house with that “disabled” son.  He had killed her first.

The NRA’s response to the massacre was a familiar refrain: guns don’t kill people, people kill people.  Yes, they do.  But the fact a “disabled” young man could get his hands on these guns is more disturbing than the hamster-dick gang either realizes or wants to admit.

And despite the horror of helpless little children being slaughtered – nothing happened.  No new legislation at either the state or federal level; no funding for mental health services; no campaign to educate people on the reckless use of firearms.  Nothing.

Thus the discussion was over; it was done.  The nation had unwittingly accepted the massacre of truly innocent children as acceptable.  So there was nothing more to talk about.

In closing let us pray for all of the children who sacrificed their lives so a bunch of angry old men could keep their fucking guns.

Image: Copyranter

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Tweets of the Week – December 12, 2020

My home state of Texas has become a central figure in Donald Trump’s ongoing and losing battle to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.  Once again, Texas has made a fool of itself, courtesy of Attorney General Ken Paxton who – by the way – has plenty of his own legal troubles.

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Worst Quotes of the Week – December 12, 2020

“This is what they do to Trump.  It’s not going to work with me.  I won’t back down because I am very religious and I know God is watching over me.  This started with COVID.  The Obamas funded that Wuhan lab to make COVID.  Then the impeachment process.  They’ve used every avenue possible to cheat, they used Dominion. Dominion software was created to cheat. I have a binder from Dominion that proves this.  There’s so much more that will be exposed.”

Mellissa Carone, former IT contractor for Dominion Voting Systems in Michigan, on SarahPalin.com

Carone worked on Election Night last month in Detroit and claims the amount of fraud at that one vote-counting center alone should be enough to overturn the election in President Trump’s favor.

“The Supreme Court, in tossing the Texas lawsuit that was joined by seventeen states and 106 US congressman, has decreed that a state can take unconstitutional actions and violate its own election law.  Resulting in damaging effects on other states that abide by the law, while the guilty state suffers no consequences.  This decision establishes a precedent that says states can violate the US constitution and not be held accountable.  This decision will have far-reaching ramifications for the future of our constitutional republic.  Perhaps law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution.”

Allen West, Chairman of the Texas Republican Party, responding to the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to hear a lawsuit brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

To non-Americans, the term “Union” is basically a reference to the 19th century U.S. Civil War, which long-time conservatives still describe as a states’ rights issue, when in reality, it was about the right of southern states to keep human beings enslaved.

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Best Quotes of the Week – December 12, 2020

“The mountains of misinformation are not helping the process; they’re only hurting it.”

Geoff Duncan, Republican lieutenant governor of Georgia, responding to Donald Trump’s relentless claims the elections were “stolen”

Two runoff elections for senator in Georgia on January 5 will determine control of the U.S. Senate.

“I personally think my company should pay me workers compensation for brain damage for having to read that lawsuit and related filings.  It really is one of the stupidest bits of performative leg humping we have seen in the last five years. These attorneys general are willing to beclown themselves and their states all to get in good with the losing presidential candidate.   The suit is absurd on its face.  These states seek to interfere in the internal affairs of other states when those states are not actually electing the president, but allowing their voters to choose members of the Electoral College.  Were this to succeed, which it will not, the states will start suing each other at every election as a bit of theater.”­

Erick Erickson, far-right social conservative and evangelical Christian fundamentalist radio host, in an essay on his blog

Erickson endorsed Trump’s reelection campaign, but criticized a lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, denouncing it as “one of the stupidest bits of performative leg humping we have seen in the last five years.”

“We believe our Jewish community needs to be able to join and partner in solidarity with communities of color like Arab Americans, Black Americans, Indigenous people who are facing systemic injustice and be able to listen to their narratives just as we expect other communities to listen to our narrative as Jews.”

Ellen Brotsky, a volunteer leader for Jewish Voice for Peace, an organization devoted to combating all forms of ethnic and racial bias

JVP and their supporters are concerned recent changes to school curriculums about ethnic inclusivity in the state of California are overlooking people of Middle Eastern extraction.

“The allegations in the lawsuit are false and irresponsible.  Texas alleges that there are 80,000 forged signatures on absentee ballots in Georgia, but they don’t bring forward a single person who this happened to. That’s because it didn’t happen.”

Jordan Fuchs, Georgia’s deputy secretary of state, responding to a lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton against Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin whose election results handed the White House to President-elect Joe Biden

In the suit, Paxton claims pandemic-era changes to election procedures in those states violated federal law and is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to block the states from voting in the Electoral College.

“I feel so privileged to be the first.”

Margaret Keenan, age 90, upon becoming the first person in Great Britain to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine shot outside of clinical trials

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Local? Hell, Yeah!

I’ve already heard some people threatening to leave the U.S. if Donald Trump is elected to a second term. Okay, bye! I will stay and fight to make this country as good as it was getting BEFORE Trump got into office! I was born and raised here. My Spanish ancestors were the first European settlers in Texas, and my Indian ancestors were here long before them. Even my German predecessors have been in the U.S. for several generations.

I’m not going anywhere!

Newcomer:  “So you’re from right here in Texas?”

Me:  “Yes, I am.”

“Born and raised?”

“Born and raised.”

“Lived here all your life?”

“Not yet.”

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Best Quote of the Week – September 5, 2020

“Texas officials continue to do everything they can to keep Texans from voting by mail this fall. Our elected leaders should be working overtime to make voting as easy as possible for every eligible voter, including anyone who worries voting in person is too dangerous amid the coronavirus pandemic.  When Harris County officials tried to do the right thing, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton promptly sued to stop it.”

Houston Chronicle Editorial Board, on continuing efforts by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to prevent voting by mail in the state

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Worst Quote of the Week – July 4, 2020

“Fauci said that he’s concerned about states like Texas that skipped over certain things.  He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.  We haven’t skipped over anything.”

Dan Patrick, Texas Lte. Governor, responding to Dr. Anthony Fauci’s testimony before a Senate committee about the U.S. response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Patrick went on to say, “The only thing I’m skipping over is listening to him.  He has been wrong every time, on every issue.  I don’t need his advice anymore.  We’ll listen to a lot of science, we’ll listen to a lot of doctors, and [Gov. Greg Abbott (R)], myself and other state leaders will make the decision.  No thank you, Dr. Fauci.”

As we often say in Texas, ‘Bless his heart.’  Translation: ‘Dumb ass!’  It’s simply impossible to protect stupid people from themselves.  To non-Texans, please don’t consider Patrick typical of everyone here in the Lone Star state; the vast majority of us are considerably more intelligent than the moronic clowns who finagle their way into leadership positions.

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Coloring In

We’ve heard it so many times before.  History has always been written by the victors.  It’s a sad reality, yet very true.  It means that much of the history of Africa and the Western Hemisphere has been recounted with a decidedly European viewpoint.  As someone of mixed European and Indigenous American extraction, I always felt conflicted about this disparity.  While trying to find information about Native American Texans in an encyclopedia during my grade school years, for example, I noticed that references to pre-Columbian peoples were treated dismissively.  It wasn’t just archaic history in standard academic circles.  It was irrelevant.  Even mention of the state’s Spanish colonizers – the first permanent European settlers – was dubbed “pre-history.”  It seemed Texas history didn’t actually begin until the likes of Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston arrived.  And it didn’t matter that these men weren’t even born and raised in the state.

Only within the past half-century has the truth about various indigenous societies been revealed with advances in archaeological research and detailed forensic analysis.  Lidar, for example, has taken the concept of neon lighting from the banal presence of liquor store signs to the jungles of Central America where long-abandoned Mayan structures remain shrouded by the foliage.  As a devotee of Archeology magazine, I’m constantly amazed by discoveries of ancient settlements across the globe.  Areas once thought to be occupied by nomadic hunter-gatherer types at best are revealing the ghosts of thriving population centers.

Yes, history has always been dictated and composed by those who somehow managed to overcome the locals – usually through the casualties of disease and pestilence or the sanguineous nature of war and violence.  But the blood of history’s victims seeps into the ground and eventually fertilizes the crops that feed the newly-minted empires.  That blood eventually metabolizes into the truth of what really happened – albeit many centuries or millennia later.  Still at that point, it can no longer be ignored.

Here in the U.S. we’re now seeing statues and other emblems of the American Civil War come down by government decree.  Supporters of that conflict have maintained its genesis was the battle for states’ rights, while truth-tellers insist it was a battle over slavery.  They’re both correct, in some ways.  It was a battle over the right of some states to keep an entire race of people enslaved.  I certainly feel removal of these statues is appropriate.  Those who fought for the Confederacy wanted to rip the nation in half over that slavery issue and therefore, should not be venerated as military heroes.  They’re traitors.

The debate has now shifted to renaming many U.S. military bases.  In my native Texas, one military base is named after John Bell Hood, a Confederate general who – like so many other Texas “heroes” – wasn’t even born and raised in the state.  Hood also wasn’t an especially adept military commander; having lost a number of individual conflicts.  And yet, a military base is named after this treasonous fool?

The U.S. Pentagon has expressed some willingness to rename military bases that reference those ill-fated Civil War characters.  Naturally, it’s upset many White southerners who annually reenact various Civil War conflicts; not realizing how ridiculous they look in their antebellum garb.  I can’t help but laugh at them.  They’ve been fighting the war for over 150 years and STILL haven’t won!

In his usual brusque and toddler-esque manner, President Trump announced last month he would veto a USD 740 billion defense bill if it included an amendment that would rename many of those military bases.  He declared, “These Monumental and very Powerful Bases have become part of a Great American Heritage, and a history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom.”

Remember, the Confederacy lost that war.  A million reenactments won’t change that reality.

Some 30 years ago my father discovered that Spain’s Queen Isabella (who funded Christopher Columbus’ voyage) was an ancestor of his mother.  According to documentation my father found, Isabella learned of the atrocities Spain’s military officials were committing against the indigenous peoples of the “New World” and ordered them to stop.  That’s one reason why Latin America has a stronger connection to its native peoples than the United States and even Canada.

It should be worth noting that, while Italians celebrate Columbus as a national hero, he probably wasn’t even a native son.  For centuries he was considered a Genoese sailor with grand visions of finding a westward route to India and subsequently gain an edge in the then-contentious spice trade.  Contemporary research, however, has declared he was actually the son of Polish King Władysław III; often dubbed the twelve-toed king because allegedly had 6 toes on each foot.  And I have to emphasize that Columbus couldn’t get Italian leaders to finance his ventures, so he turned to Spain.  In the 15th century C.E., Italy was actually a conglomeration of city-states.

In one of my earliest essays on this blog, I lamented the term “redskin”; a derogatory moniker for Native Americans that has figured prominently into the names of many sports teams, from grade school to professional.  Just this week the Washington Redskins football team announced what many previously considered unthinkable: they might change their name.  Team owner Daniel Snyder conceded he’s bowing to pressure from its largest corporate sponsors (big money always has the loudest voice in the corporate world), as well a growing cacophony of socially-conscious voices demanding change.  Snyder said the team has begun a “review” of both the name and the team’s mascot.  Detractors, of course, moan this is political correctness at its worst.  But, just like Civil War reenactors still haven’t won, Eurocentrics still won’t admit they didn’t obliterate North America’s indigenous populations.

Change on such a grand scale is always slow and painful.  But, as with time itself, change will happen; it can’t be stopped.

We can never correct or fix what happened in the past.  Nothing can ever atone for the loss of millions of people and the destruction of the societies they built.  But we can acknowledge the truth that is buried.  It’s not rewriting history; it’s writing the actual history that remained entombed in that bloodied soil for so long.  It’s adding the needed and long-absent color to reality.

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Most Unhinged Moment of the Week – May 15, 2020

“Texas’ Governor says you don’t need (expletive)!”

 – An unidentified man at a 99 Cent Only store in San Antonio, Texas, after an employee told him to wear a mask as part of company policy to prevent spread of COVID-19.

The belligerent, maskless man had charged at other customers who were recording him and even shouted at one, “Don’t record me!  That’s an invasion of my personal privacy!”

I have to make three points regarding this particular incident.  For one thing, while Texas Governor Greg Abbott hasn’t made it mandatory for people wear masks in public, he has encouraged the practice.  Also, when someone is in public – angry or not – they should have no expectation of privacy.  Finally, if you’ve ever been to a 99 Cent Only store, you should understand that the COVID-19 virus is the least potential health hazard you’ll face.

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Worst Quote of the Week – April 24, 2020

“What I said when I was with you that night is there are more important things than living.  And that’s saving this country for my children and my grandchildren and saving this country for all of us.  I don’t want to die, nobody wants to die.  But man, we’ve got to take some risks and get back in the game and get this country back up and running.”

Republican Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, on jump-starting the economy in Texas and other states to stave off a recession.

Patrick is essentially trying to walk back a comment he’d made last month that he’d rather perish from the new coronavirus than see instability in the state’s economic system.

Too late.

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