Tag Archives: Texas

Worst Quote of the Week – November 15, 2019

“Get a rope.”

– Sid Miller, Texas Agriculture Commissioner, responding to the refusal by organizers of a Veterans Day parade in his hometown of Stephenville, Texas, to allow a Confederate group to participate.

Miller was upset the group wasn’t granted requested permission to march in the parade and later said he borrowed the comment from a 1992 Pace Picante sauce commercial. People were equally – and justifiably – upset Miller didn’t seem to graph the legacy of lynching in the U.S. and how the comment, ‘get a rope’, is linked to it.

Then again, Miller is a right-wing Republican conservative; so while people are upset with him, they shouldn’t be surprised. And, while I’ll never apologize for my Texas heritage, I’m always embarrassed that the majority of voters in this state continually put these Civil War relics into office.

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Best Quote of the Week – September 6, 2019

“As it relates to safety in our stores, there have been multiple incidents since El Paso where individuals attempting to make a statement and test our response have entered our stores carrying weapons in a way that frightened or concerned our associates and customers. We have also had well-intentioned customers acting lawfully that have inadvertently caused a store to be evacuated and local law enforcement to be called to respond. These incidents are concerning and we would like to avoid them, so we are respectfully requesting that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores or Sam’s Clubs in states where “open carry” is permitted – unless they are authorized law enforcement officers.”

Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart, on the company’s decision to stop selling certain types of ammunition and firearms and asking customers not to bring weapons into their stores .

The statement is part of a larger memo issued recently company employees.

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If Being Liberal Means…

Here in Texas, as well as in other predominantly conservative regions of the United States, the term “liberal” is equal to demonic.  Personally, I consider myself a political and social moderate – which, to most conservatives – still means liberal.  Anything to the slightest left of the small-minded rhetoric of right-wing, Judeo-Christian ideology is blasphemously liberal.  But, as you surely know by now, I deplore being placed in boxes to suit other people’s needs and desires.  Those who have dared to always end up with a rectal thermometer-style rebuke from me.  Their rules don’t apply to me.

But, for the past 30 years, liberals have allowed themselves to be defined by the opposition.  They’ve hidden their true sentiments about politics and social order within the lockboxes of their minds.  Outspoken liberals have been relegated to the coastal U.S. and urban America.  Thus, they are viewed as elitists and globalists; cretins who dismiss the notion of “American exceptionalism” (whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean).

In truth, liberal means educated and open-minded; compassionate and understanding.  I’m steadfast in my own outlook and opinions.  Overall, I’m just left of the center, which – again – means extremist, bleeding-heart, bed-wetting liberal to the right-wingers.  They can call me whatever name they wish, if it makes them feel empowered in their MINI Cooper of a mind.  I’ve endured worst name-calling grade school.

But, if being liberal means…

  • I believe true freedom begins with free speech and the right to vote and not with a gun.
  • I believe the United States was founded on religious freedom and separation of church and state and not Judeo-Christian beliefs.
  • I don’t believe White males have all the answers.
  • Europe is not the foundation of civilization.
  • I read more than the Christian Bible and a TV guide.
  • Men and women possess different attributes, but are still equal
  • The human race is really the only race on Earth.
  • There is life beyond this planet.
  • Industrial enterprises don’t have the right to profitably pollute the environment.
  • Queer people aren’t diabolically dangerous.

…then you can call me a liberal.  I call myself a human being with my own thoughts and opinions.  And I don’t have to run any of these by other folks, just to get their approval.

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Did You Hear the One About the Spider in the Water?

“How did the giant tarantula get to the other side of the lake?”

“It swam!  How else is it supposed to get there?  Levitate?”

“Hey!  What’s that eight-legged monstrosity doing in the water?!”

“The front stroke, you dipshit!”

“Besides water, what do humans and spiders have in common?”

“Not a damn thing!”

“What do you say to a king-sized spider about to jump in the river?”

“Nothing, you moron!  You just get the hell out of there!”

“What did the titanic tarantula say to the trout before eating it?”

“How the hell should I know?!  I don’t get that close to spiders!  Or fish!”

Source.

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God Damned Texas

texas

Well, hell!  God must have, considering the gallery of lunatics the Lone Star State has put into public office in recent years!  I can honestly say I’ve never been more embarrassed to be a Texan (or an American, if you look at the current presidential race) than I am now.  I opined two years ago that I hope Ted Cruz runs for president and gets his ass slaughtered in the process.  So far, he’s one of only three survivors in the Republican field.  I eagerly await the political bloodbath at the GOP convention in Cleveland this summer.  I have a perverted fascination with seeing arrogance publicly butchered.  Cruz has made a number of incendiary comments, including that the United States will collapse into the fires of Satan’s lair because gay marriage is now legal – as opposed to the centuries of European-induced Indian genocide and Negro slavery where nothing so calamitous occurred.  There are too many idiocies that came from his mouth to highlight here.  I mean, I wouldn’t know where to begin!  But one recent revelation is that he tried to uphold a state law banning the sale of sex toys, which he said safeguards “public morals”; adding that “police-power interests” are a tool (pun intended) in “discouraging prurient interests in sexual gratification, combating the commercial sale of sex, and protecting minors.”  That’s right.  Cruz believes police have the power to invade your home and yank a dildo out of your ass or vagina!  All in the name of protecting children, of course.  Like so many right-wingers here in Texas, Cruz is willing to move heaven and Earth to protect children from wayward sexuality, while ignoring the fact most of those children are uninsured.  Priorities, people!  Priorities!

Canadian-born, Cuban-Italian Cruz certainly isn’t the first Texas official to spout out such twisted logic.  This state has a long history of generating some colorful characters.  During the 1990 governor’s race, Republican oilman Clayton Williams said, among other gaffes, that bad weather was like rape; it’s inevitable, so you might as well lay back and enjoy it.  As you might expect, the old bastard also insulted Blacks and Hispanics.  But here’s the sad part: he garnered nearly 40% of the votes.  Fortunately State Treasurer Ann Richards won.  Unfortunately, she lost four years later to the grandest of all Texas political goofballs: George W. Bush.  It’s around that time when Texas politics began sliding into the surreal – enough to make Salvador Dalí jealous.

But the past decade alone has seen the dramatic rise of Texas’ quirkiest politics stars.  I now present the following three jewels of cluelessness.

Ken Paxton – The state Attorney General has been in legal trouble almost from the moment he was sworn into office.  In July 2015, Paxton was indicted on felony charges for repeatedly breaking state securities laws during his tenure as a state lawmaker.  Then a new charge that he deliberately misled investors in a technology company arose.  Amid raising thousands of dollars from the investors, Paxton supposedly also received commissions – something he didn’t reveal and something that’s, you know, kind of illegal.  His attorneys tried to get all the charges dropped, but the judge handling the matter refused and ordered Paxton to be arrested in Collin County, just north of Dallas.  Paxton had to undergo the usual rigmarole of fingerprints and mug shots.  Whenever people in Collin County, Texas are arrested, officials wrap a white towel around their necks before taking the requisite glory shot.  But, because Paxton is a high-ranking state figure, he got the anticipated special treatment and was photographed sans towel.  (Trying to be discreet, Paxton had met with William Mapp, one of the energy company’s co-founders at a Dairy Queen in McKinney, which is in Collin County, in the summer of 2011.  According to most Texans, Dairy Queen is a step above Burger King.)  While Paxton is currently trying to stop a group called Exxotica from staging a sexually-oriented exposition in Dallas this summer, news reports now reveal that Paxton is still paying top aides who left the attorney general’s office more than a month ago.  The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating the investment deal, and Exxotica is threatening to sue the city of Dallas, if it violates their contract to proceed with the exposition.  I truly hope the SEC wins, and then, I’ll join them at the Exxotica convention.

Louie GohmertThe East Texas congressman takes outlandishness to a new level.  As with most right-wing political figures, Gohmert doesn’t want anyone telling him what to do with their guns, but he feels the urge to tell people what to do in their own bedrooms.  Aside from his staunch opposition to abortion (a given trait among conservatives), he’s compared limiting the size of ammunition magazines to bestiality and opposes gays from serving in the military because they’d spend more time giving each other massages on the front lines than fighting.  (What the hell’s wrong with massages?!)  In light of President Obama’s election wins, Gohmert has co-sponsored a “birther” bill that would require presidential candidates to submit their birth certificates as proof of eligibility to run for the White House.  Recently he opposed a bill that would have directed education funding to recruiter more women in the sciences by claiming it’s gender-biased and that even Martin Luther King would have opposed it.  Not knowing when to shut the hell up, Gohmert went on to add that such a bill would have distracted Marie Curie’s research and put “millions and millions of lives” in jeopardy.

Sid Miller – Like most politicians, the state’s Agriculture Commissioner has a penchant for travel.  And, like most politicians, he claims it’s all done in the name of state business, and therefore, he’s justified in charging taxpayers for his expenses.  But the $2,000 he spent on a 2015 trip to Mississippi to compete in a rodeo for prize money probably doesn’t fall into the business category.  He engaged in calf-roping events and won $880.  He tried to explain the trip’s importance by claiming he had set up a “work meeting” with Mississippi’s agriculture commissioner and other business people.  But wait!  It gets weirder.  Miller also may have charged Texas taxpayers the $1,000 it cost to fly to Oklahoma to visit an old friend, Michael Lonergan, a discredited Ohio doctor, for a “Jesus shot.”  Yes, Miller – who apparently suffers from chronic back pain – needed the spirit of the Lord pumped into his tired body via a concoction of unknown ingredients that’s injected into the upper arm.  Lonergan served prison time in Ohio for tax evasion and mail fraud, before relocating to Edmond, Oklahoma.  Miller is reimbursing the state of Texas for the trip “out of an abundance of caution,” according to his spokeswoman.  But the Texas Rangers, a state police agency, is still investigating.  My idea of a “Jesus shot” is a heavy duty screwdriver made with Smirnoff citron vodka and a bottle of baby oil; then shouting, “Jesus!” as I wipe my face.  I have videos in exchange for contributions to a charity of my choice – mainly my freelance writing fund.

Miller spent $55,000 decorating his office.

Miller spent $55,000 decorating his office.

Mary Lou Bruner – The 69-year-old retired teacher is seeking to be the next president of the Texas State School Board, the entity that has made all of Texas the literal laughingstock of the nation.  Bruner subscribes to the usual right-wing ideology: the Earth is only about 6,000 years old; there was a man named Noah who built a massive ark and that dinosaurs were among its passengers; climate change science is leftist bullshit; and 20th century liberals rewrote the history of the Civil War only to make it look like slavery was the root cause.

But, among her myriad Facebook rants is this lovely tidbit: “Obama has a soft spot for homosexuals because of the years he spent as a male prostitute in his twenties. That is how he paid for his drugs. He has admitted he was addicted to drugs when he was young, and he is sympathetic to homosexuals; but he hasn’t come out of the closet about his own homosexual / bisexual background. He hasn’t quite evolved that much! Since he supports gay marriage, he should be proud of his background as a homosexual/bisexual. He is against everything else Christians stand for, he might as well be for infidelity.”

Facebook forcibly deleted that post, and even some of Obama’s most ardent critics here and across the country thought that went too far.  Of all the disrespectful crap lodged at our first biracial president, that’s the most slanderous.  As far as I can tell, though, she’s never apologized for it.  A spokeswoman for the Cherokee County, Texas Republican Party dismissed the response to Bruner as excessive; describing her as “a nice older lady who doesn’t understand social media and the impact that it can have.”

No one has to “understand social media” to realize calling somebody a prostitute and a drug addict is offensive and just plain stupid.  Do you need a PhD in astronomy to understand that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west?  What’s worst, however, is that – given Texas’ dismal voting record – Bruner stands a good chance of actually winning that coveted seat on the school board.

There’s also a good chance Paxton and Miller will both remain in office.  In the U.S., a true double standard exists when it comes to elected officials facing criminal charges.  People are routinely thrown in jail for possessing a pinch of marijuana or talking back to a police officer.  Sandra Bland, anyone?  But use your official power to skirt the system?  Well… that’s up for discussion.  I have no hope for the future, but will keep writing to avoid a visit from the FBI.

Although Texas gave the nation – and the world – Dick Cheney and Enron, it also produced the U.S. space program, Buddy Holly, Janis Joplin, ZZ Top, Beyoncé, Eva Longoria, frozen margaritas, Shiner Bock, Whole Foods Market, silicone breast implants and, of course, Chief Writing Wolf.  So, things aren’t that bad down here!

On a side note, I really do plan to patronize Exxotica and display my version of the “Jesus shot”: a bathtub filled with Mike’s HARD Lemonade; a liter of Red Bull; a sounding rod; heated Vaseline and a high-definition video camera.  I’ll email copies to Bruner and Cruz to show what they’re missing while campaigning.  After all, politics is bad for both body and soul.  Yee-hah!

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Responding Accordingly

DonkeyInTheWell

A couple of weeks ago the Texas Democratic Party emailed questionnaires to registered voters, asking how we felt about their performance throughout this year’s political campaigns. I’m still disappointed (angry, in fact) that only about a third of eligible Texas voters made it to the polls last month. Many of these people are the same ones who’ll camp out in front of a Wal-Mart on Thanksgiving night, hoping to grab a new wide-screen TV or I-phone.

But I’m equally pissed off at the TDP for staging such lackluster attempts to win some of the state’s top positions for the first time in two decades. It’s bad enough the National Democratic Party has practically abandoned the state of Texas, leaving we moderates and independents to fend for ourselves, like pit bulls at a Michael Vick family reunion. The TDP didn’t focus on the core values for which Democrats are known, such as free speech, voting rights and worker protection. All of Texas’ Republican candidates centered their respective campaigns on two issues: expressing just how much they hate President Obama and protecting gun rights. I hate to think what would happen if a Republican garners the presidency in 2016, which is a possibility.

Below are the actual questions from the survey, along with the responses I submitted. Beneath each of those, however, I’ve added my extended replies.

 

What do you think we did well during the 2014 elections?

Not much.

You screwed up just about everything from the start. A Girl Scout troop has more organizational skills than the TDP.

 

What do you think we could have done differently?

Never start a campaign with negative attack ads. Start by emphasizing your candidate’s positive aspects; e.g. what they’ve done to improve their individual communities and what they plan to do to make things better. In this case, for example, the Democrats should have emphasized that most of the jobs created in Texas have been temporary or contract with no benefits; that the GOP isn’t concerned with income equality or protection for workers. You also needed to hit back at the Tea Party faction of the GOP, emphasizing how extremely right-wing and bigoted they are.

Wendy Davis should have emphasized that she was once a struggling single mother who managed to make it through law school with little help from the state, the federal government, a man or a pack of pea-brained evangelical Christians. Instead, her first TV and radio ads focused on what she felt Greg Abbott has done wrong during his tenure as State Attorney General. The TDP should have pointed out that people like Rick Perry and Ted Cruz are right-wing loudmouths who make Kim Jong-Un look like Mother Teresa. Call the “Tea Party” what they are: a pack of rabid neo-Nazi assholes who hate anyone who isn’t a White, heterosexual Christian. Go ahead and embrace the term “liberal” – it’s not a dirty word – and highlight the fact that liberals, progressives, etc. want to move America forward, whereas conservatives want to take it back to a time when only a handful of people had all the wealth and power.

 

What were your favorite moments or stories of 2014?

None.

I’ve seen Bugs Bunny cartoons with more inspirational moments.

 

In what ways were you able to hear from Democratic candidates?

image002

I hate robo-calls. I’ve never met anyone who’s literally willing to sit there and listen to a candidate talk about how great and wonderful they are and therefore, you should vote for them. If they are, they’ve either overdosed on oxycontin or they’re having a hellacious Maalox moment.

 

What do you think we can do to get more Democrats to the polls?

Emphasize that voting is as much a responsibility as a right. Point out that many Americans have fought very hard to earn the right to vote and that conservative Republicans have tried to squash those rights in recent years with gerrymandering laws and voter intimidation.

Show old film footage of policemen attacking unarmed, mostly Negro citizens who were merely trying to register to vote and connect it to contemporary assaults on voting rights. The TDP should have stressed that many White conservative voters were upset that a half-blooded Negro won the presidency twice against full-blooded White men.

 

What do you think Democrats need to do to win in the future?

I’m not looking forward to 2016. I don’t feel there’s a single candidate at the national level who’s worth my vote.

What I said above: focus on free speech and voting rights. Don’t spend so much time worrying about who’s being tortured at Guantanamo Bay. Most of us don’t give a shit that some illiterate camel jockey can’t get a copy of the Quran, while we’re trying to find a job or pay off medical bills. And stop coddling illegal immigrants! They can’t vote anyway. And, in case you haven’t figured it out, there’s a reason they’re called “illegal immigrants.” It’s because they entered the United States illegally!

 

What issues are a priority for 2016 you’d like to add?

What moderates, liberals and independent thinkers have been emphasizing for the past several years: income inequality, free speech and voting rights. I’m especially tired of the Democratic Party asserting that the only way to appeal to Hispanics is to establish a comprehensive immigration policy. Immigration is NOT the only issue Hispanics are concerned about. Democrats also should have pushed President Obama to remove the individual mandate from the Affordable Care Act. Most Americans are concerned about jobs and the economy; more than they are about health care. The health care matter will take care of itself if people have solid jobs with good salaries.

You let the Texas Republican Party define you and your agenda. They kept tying all Democrats to the Washington, D.C., establishment elite. And how did you respond? With those fucking robo-calls asking folks to vote for you. Get real, people, and then get rough! Texas Democrats need to show we’re a different breed from the mainstream party. We don’t want to turn Texas into another California or Illinois where people and businesses are regulated and taxed into oblivion. Texas Democrats can show the national party the right way to do things.

 

I’m really dreading what will happen in the 2016 elections. Who will the Democrats select as their candidate? Hillary Clinton? Please! She’s past her prime. If she’s all the Democratic Party has, then there really is no hope for the future. And who will the Republicans choose? There’s an endless gallery of scoundrels in that bunch. The “Tea Party” clowns are pushing for Ted Cruz to run, even though, as a Canadian by birth, he isn’t truly eligible. But I’m downright frightened that we could end up with Jeb Bush in the White House. I’d rather catch Ebola while stranded in the desert with a bad case of jock itch.

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No Thanks to You!

gop

Last week I received a notice from the National Republican Party announcing a fundraiser in my city, along with a request for a donation. It was signed by the Party’s national chairman, Reince Priebus. This suburban Dallas community where I grew up is, like much of the rest of Texas, staunchly Republican. A Democrat hasn’t won a statewide race since 1994, when Garry Mauro won reelection as state treasurer; the same year Ann Richards lost her gubernatorial reelection bid to George W. Bush.

Returning home from the gym late one Saturday night a couple of years ago, I noticed a “Tea Party” sign in a neighbor’s front yard. I wanted to stop and spray-paint a swastika on their walkway, but I didn’t have any spray paint on hand. Besides, they might’ve had security cameras hidden somewhere. For years now, there’s been a billboard off Central Expressway, just north of downtown Dallas, asking: ‘Where’s the birth certificate?’ It’s a blatant reference to the ongoing idiotic questions about President Obama’s birth place. If you know how much it costs to put up one of those signs, you might also realize the same money could fund a school lunch program.

Part of the problem is that, on average, only about a third of eligible voters in Texas actually make an effort to cast a ballot. I think many of my more centrist and independent-minded fellow Texans simply feel their vote won’t make a difference and / or Republicans will win anyway, so why bother. I certainly don’t want Texas to swing to the opposite side of the political spectrum, such California, Illinois or Massachusetts; where people are regulated and taxed into oblivion and political correctness is practically a part of the state’s constitution.

I’m actually put out by our two major both political parties – Republicans AND Democrats. I feel strongly that the Republicans are bullies, and the Democrats are wimps. President Obama has capitulated too much to the bull-headed GOP and lost any credibility, from my perspective. As I see it, the U.S. is essentially leaderless right now.

Hence, my disgust when I received the mailing from Priebus. I mailed it back, but with this handwritten message:

 

“Mr. Priebus,

Remove my name and address from your list. I have no desire to contribute money to the GOP. Your party screwed up our economy in the first place, but you won’t take responsibility for it.”

 

Off to the side, I scribbled:

“Trickle down doesn’t work. And, I’m no fan of Obama either!”

 

I included this last bit of verbiage, so Priebus and his gang will know I’m equally disgusted. I’d hate for anyone at that level to feel so targeted.

But, you must read between the lines. Here’s what I really wanted to say:

 

“Take my name and address off your fucking list, you good-for-nothing, piece of shit, Neanderthal! Your party fucked up the economy big time with your stupid tax cuts, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (wars started by a pack of fucking draft-dodgers), and total deregulation of the banking and housing industries. All of that together is what fucked up this economy – not the Affordable Care Act, which is total bat-shit, as far as I’m concerned. You fuckers have taken too much of my money in taxes already and you haven’t done a goddamned thing to help the economy, except the same stupid, fucking, trickle-down bullshit that you’ve been pushing through since that incompetent dumbass, Ronald Reagan, held office!”

 

But, they probably wouldn’t understand my outrage. Sorry to yell like that in front of you nice folks. Damn, though! I feel so much better!

Since the envelope is postage paid, I found a thin piece of rock in the back yard that I inserted along with the note. Might as well maximize it! I would’ve sent a flattened piece of my dog’s fecal matter, but they’re not good enough to receive even that.

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