Thursday, March 31, 2005

A Cardboard Sign Paints a Thousand Words!

Click on this link to see how the Schiavo protesters were infiltrated! The Schiavo tragedy is not funny at all, but I DO think we can laugh at the crazies who have so publicly and ignorantly taken up the cause.

P.S. Be sure to read all the captions under the pictures.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

A True Tragi-comedy

Found this column about a hypothetical "living will" through Atrios:

And I want Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to make a mockery of his Harvard medical degree by misrepresenting the details of my case in ways that might give a boost to his 2008 presidential campaign.

I want Frist and the rest of the world to judge my medical condition on the basis of a snippet of dated and demeaning videotape that should have remained private.

Because I think I would retain my sense of humor even in a persistent vegetative state, I'd want President Bush - the same guy who publicly mocked Karla Faye Tucker when signing off on her death warrant as governor of Texas - to claim he was intervening in my case because it is always best "to err on the side of life."

I want the state Department of Children and Families to step in at the last moment to take responsibility for my well-being, because nothing bad could ever happen to anyone under DCF's care.

For the full article, click on the link at the top.

My Einstein Whinestein

Energy is neither created, nor destroyed. That's what Mr. Einstein told us. But just like free will, it's what you do with that energy that really matters.

I was taking my Diet Dr. Pepper can to the lunch room the other day to drop it into the big plastic barrel with the can-sized hole in the top. It's the place where anyone who has an environmental bone in their body takes their cans and recycles them.

I dropped it in and turned to leave. A woman who works not far from me had just finished lunch. She approached the trash can and recycling can inches away from it, then dropped her trash, and her aluminum can in the trash. I was so angry...

Not sure if recycling instead is a good thing? Read this. You don't have to be a wacked-out tree-hugging environmentalist to realize that it just plain makes sense. In 2002, we recycled enough cans so as to save the equivalent to 15 billion barrels of crude. That's a lot of oil. And that kind of behavior can make Americans less dependent on foreign-drilled energy sources.

But back to my co-worker. She's a degreed professional who has no excuse but to know that recycling her can was wise, tossing it dumb. How can she have all that education and still be so stupid?

So while energy can neither be created or destroyed, it CAN be recyled and used again. We have the free will to do whatever we wish. And I wish we'd be a little smarter on things like this.

So you recycle?

The Good Earth

Some more disturbing facts about our earth's dwindling resources.

From The Guardian:
Because of human demand for food, fresh water, timber, fibre and fuel, more land has been claimed for agriculture in the last 60 years than in the 18th and 19th centuries combined.

An estimated 24% of the Earth's land surface is now cultivated.

Water withdrawals from lakes and rivers has doubled in the last 40 years. Humans now use between 40% and 50% of all available freshwater running off the land.

At least a quarter of all fish stocks are overharvested. In some areas, the catch is now less than a hundredth of that before industrial fishing.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Are We Surprised?

Does this confirmation vindicate Michael Moore? (not that I ever doubted him for a second!)

The New York Times reported that the documents show Federal Bureau of Investigation agents gave personal airport escorts to two prominent Saudi families who fled the United States, while several other Saudis were allowed to leave the country without first being interviewed, citing newly-released US government records.

Ooooh, I'm getting excited!

Here's the latest about Air America moving to San Antonio:

In recent days, San Antonio-based Clear Channel Communications Inc. has flipped one of its local channels from urban hip hop music to a liberal -- or what the radio industry bills as progressive -- talk format featuring Springer and others. Gone is KHTY-FM, and in its place is "progressive" KRPT-FM.

Now Houston-based Border Media Partners' (BMP) Tom Castro says his company is preparing to flip one of its San Antonio stations. Castro says that "in a few months," KZDC-AM will switch from Spanish programming to a progressive format featuring the well-hyped Air America line-up. Among Air America's staples is actor/comedian/author Al Franken.

Can you imagine that in just a few short months we'll have competing liberal talk show stations?

Sunday, March 27, 2005

What's Missing From The Republicans in the Schiavo Case:

Rational Interchange

Tom Delays the arrival of rational thought concerning the Terri Schiavo case by saying things like this: "That Americans would be so barbaric as to pull a feeding tube out of a person that is lucid and starve them to death for two weeks."

Exactly what part of brain dead does Tom Delay not understand? The only way the words lucid and brain dead belong in the same sentence is if, for instance, someone said "At one time Tom Delay seemed lucid, but now he's obviously brain dead." Now that would make sense.

Here's the whole article.

Things have gotten so strange that you have to laugh. And if you want to make that easier go here where Delay is said to have claimed that Terri Schaivo is so lucid as to be mulling over a run for the House of Representatives in '06 (Can you guess which party? Good guess!).

I don't want you to think that I have no sympathy with Ms. Schiavo or the Schindler's. I can't fathom the hardship this has been on her parents, or for that matter Michael Schiavo. But there comes a time when you have to let go.

If, as these born again Christians believe, that there is a far better world that the good folk go to after this one's through, why wouldn't they be happy that Ms. Schiavo would be going there, instead of being kept in a medically-mandated limbo in hospital hell? I believe that pulling her feeding tube is in fact the humane choice.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Oh, the irony of it....

Just learned about this L.A. Times article at Atrios:

More than 16 years ago, far from the political passions that have defined the Schiavo controversy, the DeLay family endured its own wrenching end-of-life crisis. The man in a coma, kept alive by intravenous lines and a ventilator, was DeLay's father, Charles Ray DeLay.

Then, freshly re-elected to a third term in the House, DeLay waited all but helpless for the verdict of doctors.

It reminds me of the whole Clinton sex scandal, in that the people who shouted loudest for Clinton's impeachment were the very men who had had affairs, or had treated their wives in some deplorable way. I think we can begin to see a pattern with these evil people. Every time they make a big deal about some issue, we need to look a little more closely at THEIR lives.

The Sunday Talk-Show Circuit

From DailyKos:

FOX NEWS SUNDAY Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) and former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.)

THIS WEEK : Reps. David Joseph Weldon (R-Fla.) and Barney Frank (D-Mass.); Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, archbishop of Washington, and author Rick Warren.

FACE THE NATION : Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.

MEET THE PRESS : Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) and authors Reza Aslan, the Rev. Robert F. Drinan, Richard Land, Jon Meacham and Jim Wallis.

LATE EDITION : Gen. John Abizaid; Javad Zarif, Iranian ambassador to the United Nations; and the Revs. Jerry Falwell, founder of Liberty University, and Al Sharpton, founder of National Action Network.

"Bar" looks into her crystal ball

I wonder if she has any dire predictions about the havoc her little tyke will wreak before he leaves office...

As for the current chief executive, his mother jokes that when he was a boy, she "just hoped he'd grow up."

Hmmm...what does Little Shrub think when his mama talks about him that way?

Have you made your end of life wishes known?

Advance Directive Forms I think most of us, due to the Schiavo case, have been discussing our end of life issues with our families. If you have not, now is a good time to sit down with your family and make your wishes known. This web site is an excellent resource.

Think about the following issues:
do I want drugs to try to revive me
do I want to be put on a ventilator (the proper name is ventilator, respirator is a mis-nomer)
do I want a feeding tube
do I want CPR
do I want comfort measures only (that means medications like morphine to keep you comfortable, medications for restlessness)
do I want hospice care

In other words, carefully consider your medical options. Some minimal things can be done to see if you will respond. However, if you have had a massive stroke or brain injury, or cancer, how much would you want done? Think about the end can't be weaned (removed) from a ventilator, should your family turn it off? Should you have dialysis for kidney failure?

The section, "On Our Own Terms" in this article can help you think about those things.

Remember, the best all of us can do is to let our wishes be know to our family and friends, make them official, appoint someone to execute our wishes, and hope and pray that our wishes will be carried out.

Death with dignity should be the ultimate goal. Families need not bicker and squabble, they can rest assured that you have told them what you want, and can grieve accordingly.

A heart wrenching example, from my own experience:
An elderly man had an accident and drove into a tree. He broke his neck and was placed on a ventilator, and had life saving measures. He was fortunate to have all his faculties, and calmly told his family what he wanted, which was to be removed from life support systems. His family honored his wishes, and he died several hours later, with great dignity, with his family at his side.

Isn't that what most of us want? All it takes is for you to spend a few minutes or hours talking about this issue with your family, getting your paperwork in order, thus allowing your family the ability to agree and honor your decisions.
You can have an attorney draw up the necessary papers inexpensively as well. They would consist of a medical power of attorney and an advanced directive for medical care. The next step, let everyone know where the documentation is located, and perhaps even keep a copy in your purse or briefcase, just in case.

He Blocks the Fox!

This story is hilarious! I may have to buy one.

From AP, via AOL news:
Kimery's motives go deeper than preventing people from watching the channel, which he acknowledges can be done without the Blocker. But he likens his device to burning a draft card, a tangible example of disagreement.

And he's taking this message to the network's advertisers. After buying the $8.95 device online, would-be blockers are shown a letter that they can send to advertisers via the Fox Blocker site.

"The point is not to block the channel or block free speech but to raise awareness," said Kimery, who works in the tech industry.

The Schiavo matter

The Schiavo case from a nurse's perspective, is outrageous. The matter should not be used for political purposes. This is strictly a family matter, a dysfunctional family that can't come to grips with the fact that their daughter is in fact, in a vegetative state. She feels nothing, perceives nothing, and only her brain stem is functioning. The parents need to stop thinking about themselves, and let her go with God. What purpose does it serve to keep her alive for their own gratification? She will not improve, will not miraculously get better, but will linger, in a limbo state between life and death. They cannot perform the self-less act of letting her go, they must greedily hang on to her. I am sure the loss of their daughter has been devastating, but now it is time to let her go. National polls support the opinion that she needs to be allowed to die with dignity. Is there dignity in being the latest news nationally and internationally? Is there dignity in being the pawn of the religious right and politicians seeking to garner personal gain? I think not.

A definition of permanent vegetative state, found in the August 2004, Volume 6, Number 8 AMA Journal,
Diagnosing The Permanent Vegetative State by Ronald Cranford, MD states the following:

"It is now well established in the literature and among clinicians with over 3 decades of experience in this condition that, for both children and adults in vegetative states secondary to hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, the chance of any meaningful recovery beyond 3-6 months is negligible. In patients with traumatic brain injuries, the chances of meaningful recovery are practically nonexistent beyond one year. Reports of dramatic “miracle” recoveries surface in the lay press on a regular basis every few years, but these cases, when thoroughly investigated, have not substantially undermined the recovery period statistics given above.

A persistent vegetative state (commonly, but incorrectly, referred to as "brain-death") sometimes follows a coma. Individuals in such a state have lost their thinking abilities and awareness of their surroundings, but retain non-cognitive function and normal sleep patterns. Even though those in a persistent vegetative state lose their higher brain functions, other key functions such as breathing and circulation remain relatively intact. Spontaneous movements may occur, and the eyes may open in response to external stimuli. They may even occasionally grimace, cry, or laugh. Although individuals in a persistent vegetative state may appear somewhat normal, they do not speak and they are unable to respond to commands."

The key issue was aptly stated in the above article: "To the families and loved ones, and to inexperienced health care professionals, PVS patients often look fairly “normal.” Their eyes are open and moving about during the periods of wakefulness that alternate with periods of sleep; there may be spontaneous movements of the arms and legs, and at times these patients appear to smile, grimace, laugh, utter guttural sounds, groan and moan, and manifest other facial expressions and sounds that appear to reflect cognitive functions and emotions, especially in the eyes of the family."

One good thing has come from this, families and people of all ages are now discussing what they want to happen should they become seriously ill. That should be the legacy the Schiavo family stives for, helping other families learn to how to cope and let family members die with dignity, rather than what this has become. I fell very sorry for the family, sorry that their selfishness has not allowed them to see beyond their own personal needs.

A Week Late--and a lack of sincerity

Raise your hand if you think Bush gives a darn about those people in Minnesota!

From Reuters, via Yahoo News:

Bush's delayed public reaction to the shooting stood in contrast to his swift and high-profile intervention this week to prolong the life of Terri Schiavo, a brain-damaged woman in Florida whose feeding tube was removed.

Opinion polls show Bush's approval ratings have slipped to a new low and some pollsters say his intervention in the Schiavo controversy may have been a major factor.

Let 'em know how you feel!

Ahh, what a great way to spend Easter! Sending out angry letters to Texas Democrats who helped destroy the lives of many people in Florida this week. With the aid of 47 spineless Democrats last weekend, the Federal government demonstrated how states' rights no longer matter, which in turn emboldened crazy people to publicly display their lunacy in front of all the cameras. This poor family was already going through hell, and now their lives are forever ruined by the likes of Tom DeLay, Bill Frist, Jeb Bush, and even our own "Culture of Life" warmonger, George Bush. The sad part is, 87% of the American people were disgusted by the whole thing. Isn't it a shame the Democrats missed another great opportunity to show they were on the side of right?
Through Americablog, I got the list of U.S. Representatives who voted for the Terri Schiavo bill. Maybe you can drop them a line and let them know how you feel? I feel great after sending several!

This is something to chew on...

With democracy faltering in the former Soviet Union, Afghanistan, and now in the unified Germany, it would be great if we could show the world that democracy in OUR country works. Since we're rapidly becoming a theocracy, however, it may be hard to spread the word with a straight face.

From Reuters:

Nearly a quarter of western Germans and 12 percent of easterners want the Berlin Wall back -- more than 15 years after the fall of the barrier that split Germany during the Cold War, according to a new survey.

Friday, March 25, 2005

A Woman after my own heart!

Dr. Grissom is the featured speaker for the annual KCADW Luncheon/Tea on April 16. Below are some excerpts from her bio:

Dr. Coleen Grissom serves as Professor of English at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. After undergraduate studies at East Texas State University, she received the Master of Arts degree from Syracuse University and the Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1966. She has been on the faculty of Trinity University for more than 45 years. She retired from her administrative role on June 1, 2000, learned to loll during a year's leave of absence, and returned to teach full-time at Trinity in the fall of 2001.


After 17+ years of living in one of Trinity University’s residences on Oakmont Court, Coleen moved in December, 1999 to the boonies. There her six toy poodles – Tippy, Champion Callidora, and her three sons, Rufus, Eliot, and Wilbur, along with Rudy, a tiny, cranky soul rescued from a Florida puppy mill – form what perhaps may be euphemistically called a “pack of poodles” but live in harmony with the various critters of the wild as well as with her beloved #1 cat, Isadora, and two new kittens, Dorie & Nellie.

Just think of it – not only self-assured felines but also a veritable herd of tiny poodles gamboling under the live oaks in the shadow of the windmill, secured by cedar posts and hog wire fence! Life is good.

I'm featuring Dr. Grissom and some of her poodles on critter-blogging day!

Remember our good friend Kenneth Blackwell?

An article from the Free Press:

"Blackwell – who turned his back to Millender-McDonald when she spoke and was told by the congresswoman to face him and speak up – had answers for all the problems cited. The shortage of voting machines was in part the federal government’s fault, he said, as HAVA required new machines – but only provided limited funding to buy those new machines. Thus he said he was unable to replace old machines or buy new ones, adding – and this is notable in itself – that even the newest electronic voting machines had unacceptable security flaws.

[skipped sections]

“Not every voter has a master’s degree. Not every voter has a bachelor’s degree. We want to make sure that information is on a level where everyone understands,” Millender-McDonald said.

“I used the language that a bipartisan (advertising) firm recommended,” Blackwell said.

“Bipartisan doesn’t mean a thing when they speak over the heads of the average voter,” Millender-McDonald replied.

This and other exchanges between Blackwell and the congresswomen typically ended with Blackwell saying he was following the “best practices” in the election field and defending state election workers as models for other states to follow."

We all know that when all is said and done, this man congratulated himself after the election for helping to win the presidency for you know who.

Democratic Dog Blogging

This is my weekly gratuitous picture of one of my pets. Mitzi the Dem Dog jumps to catch her frisbee.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

A Solo Colmes is a good Colmes

I'm not working on Good Friday, so I find myself up at nearly 2am listening to San Antonio's new progressive radio station. Alan Colmes (of Hannity and Colmes notoriety) is on now, and I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised! When he doesn't have that crazy Hannity screaming constantly, Alan actually has a lot to say, and it makes a lot of sense. I'm not sure how I'm going to listen to him very often, but I'll consider it a treat when I can.

P.S. After listening to Alan I don't know how he can stand to be with Hannity an hour EVERY day of the work week. Poor guy!

Dowd's Disdain and Rich's Revulsion

Two of the big guns put forth their opinions regarding the national craziness we're witnessing.


Dowd says:
"The scene on Capitol Hill this past week has been almost as absurdly macabre as the movie "Weekend at Bernie's," with Tom DeLay and Bill Frist propping up between them this poor woman in a vegetative state to indulge their own political agendas. Mr. DeLay, the poster child for ethical abuse, wanted to show that he is still a favorite of conservatives. Dr. Frist thinks he can ace out Jeb Bush to be 44, even though he has become a laughingstock by trying to rediagnose Ms. Schiavo's condition by video."

Rich says:
"Like many Americans, I suspect, I tried to picture how I would have reacted if a bunch of smarmy, camera-seeking politicians came anywhere near a hospital room where my own relative was hooked up to life support. I imagined summoning the Clint Eastwood of "Dirty Harry," not "Million Dollar Baby." But before my fantasy could get very far, star politicians with the most to gain from playing the God card started hatching stunts whose extravagant shamelessness could upstage any humble reverie of my own."

A Rat by any other name....

Sometimes a joke will get us through the tough times. The following story has no merit whatsoever, but maybe it'll bring you a chuckle!

A woman walks into a curio shop in San Francisco. Looking around at the exotica, she notices a very lifelike, life-sized bronze statue of a rat. It has no price tag, but is so striking she decides she must have it.

She takes it to the owner: "How much for the bronze rat?"

"Twelve dollars for the rat, a hundred dollars for the story," says the owner. The woman gives the shop-owner twelve dollars. " I'll just take the rat, you can keep the story."

As she walks down the street carrying his bronze rat, she notices that a few real rats have crawled out of alleys and sewers, and begun following her down the street. This is a bit disconcerting, so she begins walking a little faster. Within a couple blocks, the group of rats behind her grows to over a hundred, and they begin squealing.
She starts to trot toward the Bay. She takes a nervous look around and sees that the rats now number in the thousands--maybe millions--and they are all squealing and coming toward her faster and faster. Terrified, she runs to the edge of the Bay, and throws the bronze rat as far out into the Bay as she can. Amazingly, the millions of rats all jump into the Bay after it, and are all drowned.

The woman walks back to the curio shop. "Ah ha," says the owner, "I'll bet you have come back for the story?"

"No," said the woman, "I came back to see if you have a bronze Republican."

Thanks, VTexan, for sharing this find!

Jerry springs over to Air America Radio

Jerry Springer, who is part of the new liberal talk show station in San Antonio, has signed up to join Air America Radio next Friday, April 1. I'm not sure how I feel about this--since they're squeezing out one of my favorite radio personalities.

"They actually signed me up after they heard my radio show," Springer said Wednesday night, flashing his trademark self-deprecating wit. "I'm excited. I have no idea whether I can master the technique of radio. But I really felt I had 30 years experience on the substance of the matter, so it has never been, 'Gee, I'm getting a job in radio and what do I talk about."

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Oops...I think the Republicans blew it!

The Republican leadership have become so arrogant that they forgot to look at the big picture--the picture of real people who have gone through this tragedy themselves, the picture of real conservatives wanting less governnment, not more, and the picture of the real legal system being used correctly until Jeb Bush and Tom DeLay stepped in.

The latest CBS poll:
"Public approval of Congress has suffered as a result; at 34 percent, it is the lowest it has been since 1997, dropping from 41 percent last month. Now at 43 percent, President Bush’s approval rating is also lower than it was a month ago."

I hope Republicans are starting to see what their politicians will stoop to in their quest for complete power.

Celebrating the launch of liberal radio

This documentary will be airing on the 1-year anniversary of the launch of Air America Radio.

"Offering an intimate look at rehearsals with the celebrated public faces of Air America - including author-comedian Al Franken, outspoken radio veteran Randi Rhodes, and comedian-actress Janeane Garofalo - LEFT OF THE DIAL reveals the nervous expectations of investors who staked their careers on the network. Among them are Evan Cohen, Air America's chairman, and David Goodfriend, who becomes Air America's general counsel. Cautiously optimistic, Cohen observes, "If we succeed, we'll succeed fabulously, but if we fail, at least we'll fail spectacularly."

Be sure to watch on Thursday, March 31.

Patriot Act creates strange bedfellows

This will be particularly interesting to those who heard Boerne Library director Kelly Skovbjerg at the last KCADW meeting:

"It was a Washington rarity to see the American Civil Liberties Union line up with conservative lions like David Keefe of the American Conservative Union and former Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga. But they were among those at a Washington press conference held to assail such Patriot Act provisions as those allowing law enforcement agents to look at library users' records or to conduct unannounced "sneak-and-peek'' searches on homes or private offices."

'It is not, and never should be necessary, to surrender our rights under the Bill of Rights to fight the war on terrorism,' said Barr, who as a House member voted for the Patriot Act, which passed overwhelmingly in the House and provoked only one dissenting Senate vote."

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

This ain't working...Give it up!

How ironic that more abortions have occurred during the Bush epoch...


"Bush may be sincere but he is also pandering to his political base and paying more attention to the ideology than the facts,” said Michael McGee, vice president for education for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which calls abstinence-only education “one of the religious right’s greatest challenges to the nation’s sexual health.”

What is Up is Down, What is Wrong is Right

It's always opposite day in the Bush epoch.

A disturbing article about the EPA:

"When the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a rule last week to limit mercury emissions from U.S. power plants, officials emphasized that the controls could not be more aggressive because the cost to industry already far exceeded the public health payoff.

What they did not reveal is that a Harvard University study paid for by the EPA, co-authored by an EPA scientist and peer-reviewed by two other EPA scientists had reached the opposite conclusion."

Monday, March 21, 2005

Lakoff's theories are realized!

Linguist George Lakoff has spoken and written of this, so you'll be glad (horrified) to witness how correct he was! The insta-poll question today on was:

Do you believe government, in the Terri Schiavo case, has a duty to protect the weak, disabled and vulnerable? (the emphasis is from madmomma)

What a disgustingly biased way to pose that question! As you can see from the results, people weren't swayed by the slanted language!

Americans weigh in on Schiavo

Thanks to Atrios and Think Progress for this excerpt from an ABCNews Poll:

70% of Americans say it is inappropriate for Congress to involve itself in the Schiavo case.

- 67% of Americans “think the elected officials trying to keep Schiavo alive are doing so more for political advantage than out of concern for her or for the principles involved.” (Just 19% believe the elected officials are acting out of concern for her or their principles.)

- 58% of Republicans, 61% of independents and 63% of Democrats oppose federal government intervention in the case.

- 50% of evangelicals oppose federal government intervention in the case, just 44% approve of the intervention.

- 63% of Catholics and a plurality of evangelicals believe Schiavo’s feeding tube should be removed.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Guest Lineup for the Daily Show

Jon Stewart will be talking to these folks during the coming week:

Actress and Austin resident Sandra Bullock, actress Catherine Keener, Ozzy Osbourne and The RZA (Hip-hop MC and influential producer best known for his work with Wu-Tang Clan)!

While some of you may not know Wu Tang from orange Tang--I don't either--we don't want to prevent you from knowing who's on this week!

Schiavo Travesty

Talk about an undignified way of life! What in the heck is going on with these people? I feel really sorry for THIS family and any other family who become pet issues (read: talking points) for the Republicans.

P.S. Tom DeLay makes my skin crawl.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Sunday Talk-Show Circuit

From the DailyKos folks:

MEET THE PRESS 10:30 a.m.: Myers.

LATE EDITION (CNN), noon: Sens. John E. Sununu (R-N.H.) and Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.); Lt. Gen. R. Steven Whitcomb; Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari; retired Gen. George A. Joulwan; retired Lt. Gen. Michael DeLong; and retired Maj. Gen. Don Shepperd.

FOX NEWS SUNDAY: Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.)

THIS WEEK (ABC) 9 a.m.: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.); Gerry Adams, leader of Northern Ireland's Sinn Fein party; and Rumsfeld.

FACE THE NATION (CBS, WUSA), 10:30 a.m.: Gen. Richard B. Myers, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman; Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.); and Robert D. Manfred Jr., executive vice president of Major League Baseball.

Justice "DeLayed"

Forwarded to the blog by one of our own:

Dear Fellow Democrats:

We are all well-versed in the ethical shortcomings of Tom DeLay.
However, in recent weeks, a good deal of information has been
put forward about U.S. Congressman Lamar Smith, who represents a
portion of Travis County in his congressional district (21), and
his lack of ethics as it relates to Mr. DeLay.

Rep. Smith was recently installed as a member of the House Ethics
Committee, which is charged with investigating ethical complaints
against House members, including Mr. DeLay. However, it has been
revealed that Rep. Smith has helped raise money for DeLay and DeLay's
PAC, the very PAC that is at the center of the ethical mess surrounding
DeLay. This creates an irreconcilable conflict of interest with respect
to Rep. Smith and his chairmanship of the Ethics Committee. The
Associated Press and the Washington Post have recently run stories on
this very issue.

I urge all of you to speak out on this issue. Representative Smith
must resign as chair of the Ethics Committee and we should all urge
him to do so. Write to Rep. Smith, write a letter to the editor of
the Statesman or any other newspaper of your choice, and/or write
Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. We must raise our voices on
this issue. We cannot sit by while the Republicans continue to
look the other way as Tom DeLay flouts the rules of ethical conduct
in Congress and violates state and federal laws regarding campaign
finance, all in an effort to destroy the Democratic Party. This
madness must stop.

Representative Lamar Smith can be reached at:

Austin District Office
5608 Parkcrest Drive, Suite 260
Austin, Texas 78731
512-402-9867 fax
Hours: 8am - 5pm CST, Monday - Friday

Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert can be reached at:

D.C. Office
235 Cannon House Office Building
Phone: 202-225-2976
Fax: 202-225-0697

The Austin American-Statesman contact info is:

Letters to the Editor
P.O. Box 670
Austin, Texas 78767
FAX: (512) 912-592
E-mail: or

Democratically yours,
Chris Elliott
Chair Travis County Democratic Party

Global Protests on 2nd Anniversary

Here's a link to a photo gallery of the protests around the world marking the 2nd anniversary of our invasion of Iraq.

Photo from Reuters.

Nice little article about blogs

For those of you who are still not sure about the whole blogging thing, here's a word about it:

"Today there are thousands of blogs about thousands of topics out there. Some have millions of readers, others have none. But I guess it's a good thing that people are out there writing, keeping the written word alive in this era of the cell phone."

Friday, March 18, 2005

George Bush: Inscrutable

Comes a time when you have to give an opponent credit, whether or not you want to. I've got to give George W some credit for a degree of inscrutability of which I never would have guessed he was capable.

Why on God's green earth would he have:
--nominated to head the world bank a man whose sole experience in banking was at the ATM machine?
--nominated to be the nation's chief law enforcer the man who counseled that only that which causes organ failure or death could legally be called torture?
--nominated to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, the one person whose only job was to keep us safe (head of Homeland Security), which is the one job she didn't do.

There is a long line of nominating people to environmental protection positions who have spent their entire careers exploiting the environment.

Regarding nominees for dozens of positions, Bush has rarely missed an opportunity to do the opposite of what one would expect a President to do in that position. Which gets back to that whole inscrutability quotient. These nominees and appointments are rarely qualified or have earned these positions, so is this a move which--and I wonder this seriously--has as its objective to keep the opposition thinking "What in the world will this President do next??" If that's his objective, now that banner on the aircraft carrier is warranted: Mission Accomplished!

Democratic Cat Blogging

I didn't get a doggy picture, so here's my very liberal cat, Speck. Enjoy!
I wish the best to any- and everyone who goes to any peace rallies tomorrow. I'll be with you in spirit!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Meet Boerne's Next City Councilmen

Thom Rickert
Well, it doesn't hurt to be optimistic, does it? I've been told that for the first time in 18 years, the Mayor and both incumbent city councilmen are being opposed in the May election. Folks, that's called a healthy Democracy.

I've spoken extensively to Bob Manning (lower photo) and Thom Rickert (top photo), and I can tell you they're articulate, intelligent, passionate, and up to the task. But that's up to you to decide. And the best way to decide is to come to the April Kendall County Democratic Club meeting and hear what they have to say.

Bob ManningHere's the IMPORTANT part: John Weir's going to open the doors early at 6:30 PM so you can talk to them face-to-face. Bob Manning's got a previous commitment and will have to leave by 7:20 or come early and find out what they plan to do once you elect them to the city council.

The place to be is the Boerne ISD Administration Building just west of Main Street on Johns Road--the regular meeting place--as close to 6:30 as possible. Looking forward to your being there.

There are still those who are fighting for our rights

I have to say Sen. Barbara Boxer has become a great avenging angel for our party! But apparently we really do need to totally give up on Sen. Lieberman. Here's a good article about the ongoing controversy over getting rid of the filibuster.

"Boxer pointed out that only 10 nominations have been blocked, while 204 have been approved. Blocking those 10, she said, had required Senator Leahy to find security protection for himself and his family.

"They want to make this country into a banana republic," said Schumer, "where if you don't get your way you change the rules." One of the nominees, Schumer said, had called slavery "God's gift to white people." Another had said that a woman must be subjugated to a man. Another opposed all zoning laws. Another opposed all labor laws, including laws on child labor."

Photo by: Mike Theiler / EPA via Sipa Press
"Conspicuous by their absence from Reid's Capitol steps event were two Democrats: Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who has voted against all but one of the Democratic filibusters since 2003, and Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. Both men are up for re-election next year, and Nelson is running in a state Bush won with 66 percent of the vote."

Something we just can't get our collective heads around

This is causing a lot of eye rolling and head scratching:

"Wolfowitz's 35-year public and academic career, notably lacking in direct experience either with banking or development, let alone the Bank's supposed core mission of poverty reduction, has also steered a wide berth around both Africa and Latin America, two regions of enormous importance to the Bank."

Thumbs down for at least some of the atrocities

This part of the budget was unappetizing even to the Republicans:

"The Senate voted Thursday to strip all proposed Medicaid cuts from the $2.6 trillion budget for next year, killing the heart of the plan’s deficit reduction and dealing an embarrassing setback to President Bush and Republican leaders."

Radio Review

Well, I've been listening for 4 hours to the new liberal talk radio station (it's my day off and I'm supposedly doing housework), and while the jury's still out on Jerry Springer, I have to say that Stephanie Miller is pretty darned good (smart and irreverent). The station is KRPT at 92.5. Boerne listeners may have to really work to find a good signal.

Don't forget!!! Randi Rhodes is back today on Air America Radio.

It's there, but you have to work for it!

Well, imagine my dismay when I tuned in and discovered that 92.5 is the Ranch out of Kerrville! If you stay calm and don't panic (like I did this morning) you can find it but it's not a crystal clear signal. Jerry Springer is on right now.

Five Minutes to Liftoff!

The new liberal talk radio station is going on the air in 5 minutes. How exciting! Just tune in to

KRPT 92.5

starting at

8am CST today

For those of you wondering why I tout liberal radio so much, it's because you can find a friend who understands what you, as a liberal, are going through! In this area, you may sometimes feel a little alone in the world, but with a flip of a switch 24/7 you know there are many others who feel just as you do. How cool is that?

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Who's Going To Get Drilled--ANWR...or US?

As you've likely heard, the senate paved the way for drilling in ANWR. There are of course a lot of ways to look at this issue. But one of the most important ways to look at it is the way that oil companies look at it, don't you think? Well, according to this article, oil companies have withdrawn their interest in ANWR. For whatever series of reasons, they're insufficiently impressed that ANWR is something they want to do.

I'll wait 'til you pull yourself off the floor, because I know that you've surely fallen out of your chair with that little revelation. To recap here, there's been a several-year off-n-on campaign to open up ANWR for oil exploration. There have for years been running battles between forces of both sides, and today it came down to the wire, and by a 51-49 vote, those who would protect ANWR lost. And...the oil companies aren't interested in drilling there??

So...what's the real battle here? Is there something we're missing that may have nothing to do with ANWR? Fill me in if you know something. I have to say, it's pretty hard not to get cynical with these folks calling the shots in Washington DC. I'm workin' on it, but it's no easy haul.

I'll leave you with some sage words from Vermont's Senator Pat Leahy which put it all into perspective: "...simply raising automobile efficiency standards by less than half a mile per gallon would save as much oil as may ever exist in the Alaskan refuge."


And the Juggernaut rolls on...

It just keeps getting better and better. Sigh....

From Common Dreams:

Still, "this is a big step," said Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, who said he had tried for 24 years to open the refuge, but failed because Democrats blocked the effort through filibusters. The budget is immune from a filibuster, meaning drilling supporters will need only a majority - not the 60 votes required to break a filibuster - to succeed when the issue comes up for final action later this year.

Why can't we just try to conserve? Gee, what a concept!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005's not Air America!

Good news: San Antonio's finally getting a liberal talk radio station this Thursday. Bad News: The Air America Network doesn't seem to be part of the deal! I called Air America this morning to ask about it and the receptionist said she couldn't give out any information about that. Hmmm. Makes me wonder if something might not be in the works! We'll keep you posted.

Liberal Talk Radio Coming to San Antonio!

Isn't it about time? For the story, go here.

It's not Air America, but it should be good, and it's even FM, so it'll sound better and less tinny that AM radio. Rejoice!

As long as they're factual...

The White House says it can't be propaganda as long as it's factual...and hey, it's not THEIR fault!
"The video news releases — from the Pentagon, Agriculture Department, Census Bureau and other agencies — have the appearance of other segments in news programs and frequently are not identified by local stations as being produced by the government.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan suggested the lack of disclosure was the fault of the broadcasters, not the government."

Monday, March 14, 2005

This should "Fuel" your Anger!

Every time I hear this type of story
it makes my blood boil. And we have to stop afterschool programs for this???!!!

"Allegations of overcharging for the fuel imports have swirled from the initial days of the occupation, but in this latest audit the scale of officially disputed charges is higher than previously reported."

Best of Both Worlds!

Ooohh, you don't wanna miss this: it's that famous curmudgeon Lewis Black, and he's co-hosting with Mark Maron tomorrow from 2-6PM on Air America."But wait!" you're thinking. "Air America isn't broadcast in Boerne." Right you are...but if you have an internet connection, you can catch Air America on your computer.

Simply put, Lewis black IS like no other. His intelligence and outrage at the stupid amongst us (most of which happen to reside right-of-center) is manifested hilariously in a hugely booming voice. I suspect that microphones have a contract out on his life, given the sheer volume of his voice.

You may well have seen him on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart when he does his Back in Black segment. Tune'll love it.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Market Days Marketing

Working the booth at Market Days late last summer are Gwen King, Kevin McLeod, Katherine Long, and Bill King. Originally Kevin's brainchild, renting a booth allowed real, actual, 100% Democrats to be seen and spoken to in Boerne.

That may seem a little odd to say, but since the always-Democratic south turned Republican, Democrats have tended to lay low and not make a show of themselves. We here in Kendall County are proud to say, those days are over!

It's funny because after we Democrats showed up at Market Days, a month or two later, the Republicans showed up too. I'm sure we caused them no small alarm at their meetings after we first appeared.

We'll be re-appearing at Market Days before long, and not just to aggravate Republicans. We'll be there to hand out literature, answer questions, to give Kendall County Democrats a human face. Party Chair Howard Dean says the first step in turning things around is to show up. Well, showing up is what we're gonna do. And not at just Market Days. Democrats in Kendall County, stand by to get involved 'cause we're gonna shake things up around here!

Framing vs. Fencing: A post-Lakoff analysis

This article will certainly help our discussion at the next KCDC meeting which will include a video and discussion of George Lakoff's "framing." The linked article is a timely discussion of Lakoff's framing vs. Republican "fencing."
Worth the read.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Peace Events in San Antonio

This is an exerpt of an email I received from one of our own:

1) On Monday, March 14, David Rovics, a very cool, radical folk musician, will be playing here for the first time! He will be at the Unitarian Universalist Church, at 7150 W IH 10, at 7pm. Proceeds from the event will go to Texans for Peace, and they are asking for a $10, or a sliding scale-whatever-you-can-afford, donation at the door. For more information about David, or to listen to his songs, please visit

2) On March 19, please join us in the streets to protest the continued occupation and destruction of Iraq. March 19 marks the 2nd anniversary of the US invasion of the country in 2003, and since then countless numbers of Iraqi civilians have died and over 1500 American soldiers have lost their lives. We must end this war, bring our troops home, and begin the effort to rebuild our communities. We will meet at 2:30 on Saturday on East Commerce St across from River Center mall. We will march to the Plaza de las Islas (Main Plaza, on Commerce, by the San Fernando Cathedral) for a peace rally and demonstration featuring speeches by many community activists, songs, and performances.

Sorry for the short notice on the first one.

War of Words

I'm reading What's the Matter With Kansas right now (quite worth the read) and as do most books, it causes me to think in slightly different terms than I would without getting so intimate with someone else's views.

Something Thomas Frank hasn't yet said, but due to his book my mind has thought is this--The Republicans have waged a very successful war of words. They've changed the playing field from the actual: the results...and instead cause us all to compete on the field of the theoretical: what sounds good in your head.

By that I mean that Republicans (the party which extols the virtues of looking after those who can't look after themselves) have abandoned the young through cuts in medical programs for the poor, cuts in Head Start, and other programs which are sure to only hurt the poor.

As a measure of how conservative these times are, it feels almost radical for me to offer up the obvious by saying: the rich are quite well covered. It's the poor which need the helping hand. The rich have proven that they can look after themselves quite well, than you.Further, what's so bizarre on this new playing field is that a record that at very best could be called piss-poor is enough to get GW Bush re-elected. The record he ran on has come to be called the God/Guns/Gays platform.

1. Unlike Democrats, we believe in God, and are in fact guided by the hand of him.
2. Democrats want to take your guns away!
3. Democrats want to turn your kids gay by giving gays rights they don't now have.

These arguments are designed to appeal to an irrational side of you that doesn't closely examine anything for facts, but instead recoils in fear. And that's the name of the game. They don't want you to see the miserable job creation numbers, or the exploding deficit, or what we're doing to the environment, or what the rest of the civilized world thinks of us. They want you to think that Democrats are Godless gays who want to keep you from defending your home.

It's time to get the discussion back into the realm of the actual. When you hear people spouting out about gay marriage, why not chime in with "I don't give a damn what people want to do with their private lives...but I'm all worked up about whether or not my child is going to have a job once he gets out of college!" Take the debate to the areas that really matter and the Republicans, with their awful record in those areas, will lose pitifully.

Democratic Dog Blogging

All the big blogs do it with cats, orchids, you name it! I thought I would try out my picture of Riley sleeping on the job! If any of you out there has a fun picture of your dog, just send it along to me at!

The Talking Heads of Sunday

Thanks to the folks at DailyKos for compiling this list for Sunday's talk-show circuit:

ABC's "This Week" - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; former baseball player Jose Canseco; Jeffrey Sachs, director of The Earth Institute.
CBS' "Face the Nation" - Rice; Sens. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and Joseph Biden, D-Del.

NBC's "Meet the Press" - Rice; Reps. Tom Davis, R-Va., and Henry Waxman, D-Calif.; Sens. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., and Lincoln Chafee, R-R.I.

CNN's "Late Edition" - National security adviser Stephen Hadley; Sens. Trent Lott, R-Miss., and Christopher Dodd, D-Conn.; Middle East analyst Adib Farha and Syrian Cabinet Minister Bouthaina Shaaban; former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former United Nations Ambassador Richard Holbrooke.

"Fox News Sunday" - Hadley; Mark Malloch Brown, chief of staff to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Wal-Mart--That great little corner shop!

I wish I could wean myself off this horrible store!

"Signaling what could be a new approach to getting around such restrictions, Wal-Mart will build adjacent stores in Dunkirk, Md. with one outlet being constructed so that it will be just under the 75,000 square-foot limit that is allowed by a Calvert County ordinance."

Friday, March 11, 2005

Warring with myself about the War

I've been watching Bill Maher tonight, and I had to stop in the middle because I got so upset with his position on our presence in the Middle East. Because Bush has lied so much to me and every other American, I can't bring myself to think that he's done anything right, much less successfully and honorably. At the end of the day, we've lost more than 1500 of our young men and women, thousands more are horribly injured, and of course many Iraqis are dead, injured, orphaned or homeless. I KNOW not all of you feel the way I do, so please forgive the rant! I guess I'm looking for calm, rational voices to quietly lead me to peace of mind tonight...any takers?

Randi is Dandy!

Rhandi Rhodes, the goddess of liberal radio, returns to her show this Thursday, March 17! Yay!!!! She had surgery more than 3 weeks ago, and while others filled in for her admirably, no one can do it like Randi. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, Randi Rhodes is one of the main radio personalities on Air America Radio. The network hasn't come to the San Antonio area YET, but it should be any day (I hope!) In the meantime you can listen to Randi and ALL the Air America shows on the Internet.

Blue is Beautiful!

The Kendall County Area Democratic Women are hosting their

7th Annual Luncheon-Tea

Theme: Blue is Beautiful

When: Saturday, April 16 at noon

Where: Boerne Community Center, 820 Adler St.

Speaker: Dr. Colleen Grissom

Reservations: please email Gwen King

Donation: $15.00

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Political Blog List by the Minneapolis Star Tribune

This is a great resource for those of you who want to read the bloggers who keep their collective finger on the pulse of American politics.

Here's a sampling:

Brooklyn Bedouin-- Political banter, wit, ranting and solutions from a radically left of left with nod to fiscil conservatism, poltical realism, with plenty of Brooklyn attitude Brooklyn Park's most influential online source of information and political discussion. Hated by several politicians who have tried over and over again to stiffle the web site, even going as far at least twice to have the City Attorney attempt to find a way to shut it down. Very popular and well used discussion forum.

Buffalo Nickel-- Home of the brave, an unapologetic liberal. There's a quiet revolution happening. A sea change. People are starting to connect the dots.

WARNING: This list includes blogs from the "Dark Side" as well.

Political Satire at its Finest

Bill Maher's lineup for Friday, March 11 at 10pm CST:

This week, Bill welcomes guests Rep. Barney Frank, author Camille Paglia, comedian Richard Belzer, author Irshad Manji and Fmr. Rep. Joe Scarborough.

Thursday night's Daily Show was great. Guest Paul Krugman did a great job pointing out the lunacy of Bush's Social Security debacle.

The Fundamental Right You Don't Have

Did you know that you do not have a constitutionally guaranteed right to vote in this country? It's all about states rights, and states grant you the right to vote, with restrictions applied county by county and state by state. I was suprised that I did not realize this fact. In the following article, from which I have included one excerpt, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Il., makes the facts clear. He also introduced House Joint Resolution 28 which would reverse the Supreme Court's ruling in Bush v. Gore that the citizen has no constitutional right to vote. The congressman says it's time to make voting a citizenship right.

On March 10, 2005, Jesse Jackson noted "The United States stands virtually alone on denying constitutional protection of the right to vote. 108 of the 119 democratic nations in the world have a right to vote in their Constitution—including the Afghan Constitution and the interim Iraqi Constitution. The United States is one of only 11 that do not. As we assist other nations in implementing democracy, we must also turn the mirror on ourselves and examine what we are doing, what rights we are protecting."

Giving Bush's Retreads the Byrd

In the article "Giving Bush's Retreads the Byrd" Molly Ivins noted "In the magical upside-down world of right-wing blogs, it is now an accepted article of faith that Sen. Robert Byrd compared George W. Bush to Hitler last week."

Sen. Byrd's speeches on the "nuclear option" of cutting off Senate debate on judicial nominees have been very informative, and history lessons to us all. They are compelling and well worth the time spent reading them. We seem to have forgotten many of the lessons of history as we complacently watch the sanitized news on TV, and plug into the pap of reality TV, never spending much time reflecting upon the machinations of the Bush administration and the neocons. We ignore this at our peril. Sen. Byrd gives us history lessons not to be ignored.

That COMMENTS Thing...

Okay you smarter-than-the-other-guys, red-blooded Texan types: I'm tawkin' to you! Maybe you just discovered this little blog, or maybe you've been coming here for the whole three weeks of its young life. We appreciate the heck out of your readership (feel free to pass around to friends how to get here).

We who post do so as as often as we find the time, and when we actually have something to say. We never go a day without posting, and often post several times in one day.
In other words, I think we're earning our pay. In fact, we're earning MORE than our pay (Since we aren't. Paid, that is). We've gotten more than 900 hits, and the counter on this site isn't even three weeks old.

So, that's all good news. But we'd like to see the words, the thoughts, the passion of a few more people. Don't want to post as we do? That's all right. Then simply post a comment. "Loved that article. Thanks!" Or "The Election of 2006! We've got to turn this Republican tide. Start going to your local meetings." Or "Boy am I glad there's a place for me to go and read things that I won't hear elsewhere."

The way to post a comment is go to the bottom right of this, or any post, and click on the word COMMENTS. Then just write what you want. It's easy. Don't forget--this is free and open to the public. You probably shouldn't say things you wouldn't be willing for your mother to read. But other than that, there are no rules. I hope to hear from you soon.

A View on the View

Below is an article by Phyllis Crockett found in this month's KCADW Voice:
The Kendall County Area Democratic Women have submitted, on several occasions, information, event announcements and articles to "Hill Country View" newspaper in Boerne for publication. "The View" has consistently found excuses to not publish our information while giving the Republicans publicity. Admittedly, it is difficult if not impossible to find a balanced publication interested in investigation and truth and able to rise above the "he said, she said" journalism of today. From Rupert Murdoch's "San Antonio Express-News" to the "Boerne Star" they all seem to repeat the talking points of the right. But they at least publish meeting dates and give a corner every once in a while to our events and concerns. While "The View" may publish what it wishes, their attitude certainly does not represent the true journalistic ideals. We as consumers should evaluate all information when deciding what to buy or in this case what to subscribe to. Please consider the above when buying or subscribing to "The View."

"The View" called us one night several weeks ago, asking us to subscribe to their publication. After hemming and hawing for a moment, VTexan told them they were just a little too Republican for his taste! I guess we're not the only ones who feel that way! Thanks, Phyllis, for giving us a heads up on this.

I am free--to think--to speak

Editor's cut by
Katrina vanden Huevel
noted that "in a series of extraordinary speeches, Senator Robert Byrd, a longtime historian of the Senate, has persistently sounded the alarm about imperial executive power." The speech is long, but well worth reading. I have included some excerpts below.

Stopping a Strike at the Heart of the Senate by Senator Robert Byrd, delivered on March 1, 2005:

"Free and open debate on the Senate floor ensures citizens a say in their government. The American people are heard, through their Senator, before their money is spent, before their civil liberties are curtailed, or before a judicial nominee is confirmed for a lifetime appointment. We are the guardians, the stewards, the protectors of our people. Our voices are their voices.

If we restrain debate on judges today, what will be next: the rights of the elderly to receive social security; the rights of the handicapped to be treated fairly; the rights of the poor to obtain a decent education? Will all debate soon fall before majority rule? ...

But witness how men with motives and a majority can manipulate law to cruel and unjust ends. Historian Alan Bullock writes that Hitler's dictatorship rested on the constitutional foundation of a single law, the Enabling Law. ...

And that is what the nuclear option seeks to do to Rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate.

It seeks to alter the rules by sidestepping the rules, thus making the impermissible the rule. Employing the "nuclear option", engaging a pernicious, procedural maneuver to serve immediate partisan goals, risks violating our nation's core democratic values and poisoning the Senate's deliberative process. ...

For the temporary gain of a hand-full of "out of the mainstream" judges, some in the Senate are ready to callously incinerate each Senator's right of extended debate. Note that I said each Senator. For the damage will devastate not just the minority party. It will cripple the ability of each member to do what each was sent here to do - - represent the people of his or her state."

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

There's Something Happening Here...What It Is Ain't Exactly Clear...

This article is an interesting, if troubling, read. But read it you should. Penned by Congressman John Conyers out of Michigan, he's talking about what he fears is going on with our Democracy. Many Americans think the different viewpoints of Republicans and the Democrats as simply a different perspective on how to manifest our Democracy. And I think that evaluation was, at one time, quite correct.

Times have changed.

We now have a government actively working towards lessening the rights and abilities of its most vulnerable taxpayers to resolve financial problems. Yesterday's passage of the bankruptcy bill is tilted towards money and away from the little guy.

This article points out that half of people declaring bankruptcy is due to overwhelming medical bills. While the inadequacy of our health care system makes people choose between health insurance and their children's needs, that fact isn't even as bad as the picture actually gets. Having insurance is by no means the fix for medical problems. How could that be? Because as the same article points out, 68% of those who file for bankruptcy because of health expenses actually have health insurance!

There's something very, very wrong going on here.Mr. Bush calls himself a compassionate conservative, yet someone with compassion would be coming somehow--any way possible--to the aid of families destroyed by medical bills. But instead of doing so, Mr. Bush supported the bankruptcy bill. He's also on a 60-day stump to turn the tide around in his (thus far) losing battle to destroy Social Security.

While Social Security does need to be fixed, keep in mind: it won't quite be able to meet all its obligations (drumroll please) 37 years from now! I'm all about fixing problems...but good God a'mighty! What about the families who are being destroyed right now? Mr. Bush: where is your compassionate conservatism?

Dean--That money-making machine!!

This is very encouraging news! Let's keep the momentum going!

"The Democratic National Committee raised $3.4 million in three weeks - more than double the amount raised during the same time in 2001 after President Bush was first elected, the new Democratic chairman said Monday."

The Republicans continue to out-donate us, but let's face it...we're doing it at the grassroots level, not at the corporate level. Wouldn't you rather our leaders be beholden to US rather than big business?

I'm Not as Surprised by This Story as I Should Be!

A soldier gives HIS version of Saddam's capture:
"Later on, a military production team fabricated the film of Saddam's capture in a hole, which was in fact a deserted well," Abou Rabeh said."

NO MORE DINOS! We want/need the real thing.

Democrat-In-Name-Only(DINO) Sen. Joe Lieberman must make room for someone who speaks/works for Americans--not President Bush. Go to the link and let your voice be heard!

At least we're worrying about the important stuff!

It's so heartening to see that our country is literally falling apart around us, but at least we're going after SpongeBob and the gay folks who are eroding all our values as we speak! Aarrgh! I feel so frustrated that this president cares nothing for what we're going through as a nation. He only wants to make it harder to live and work here! If I were gay, Muslim, poor, a Democrat, or overwhelmed with catastrophic medical bills, I would get the feeling that this is no longer my country, but instead, a new Soviet Union, where all our own neighbors want to do is point fingers and report us to the authorities for being different (wrong).

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Officers of the Democratic Women's Group

Following is the contact information for the officers of the Kendall County Area Democratic Women's group (KCADW). Just click on any officer's name to send an email:

Stu Adamslundy, President

Gay Phillips, First Vice President

Margaret Sanchez, Second Vice President

Carol Grosser, Secretary

Sarah White,Treasurer

Hey, liberal-minded ladies of the Kendall County area! Drop a line and learn more about joining this wonderful organization.

Sunshine Week Activities

Boerne Public Library Director Kelly Skovbjerg is speaking at this month's meeting of the Kendall County Area Democratic Women. She will speak during the 11:30am meeting on Thursday, March 10 at the Boerne Community Center. This is just one of many events taking place to bring awareness to "Sunshine Week" which begins March 13. Hope to see you there. is launching today

Just learned about this on AmericaBlog.

Apparently Sean Hannity is up in arms! That's ALWAYS a good thing.

Government Secrets Exposed

Just listened to a rep from the National Security Archives, a non-government entity that tries to keep the government honest. Check out their site!

P.S. These are the guys who exposed the Condi Rice lie about Richard Clarke's input before 9-11.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Bumper Crop of Things To Post About

I was in Austin a few months ago. I was (to quote the old Blues Brothers movie) on a mission from God. I stopped in at one of those old style "head" shops where hippies and ne'er-do-wells go for pipes and rolling papers and assorted drug paraphernalia.

Though I too was euphoric, it had nothing to do with drugs. I was going to buy a bumper sticker, and as you probably know, Austin is the best place in the world to go for the little critters.

This head shop probably offers up five hundred different wacked-out bumper stickers, three-quarters of which are political, nine-tenths of which could be called liberal. I probably spent 45 minutes or more looking for just the right one to stick on the back on my pickup. I wanted one that was a little cerebral, but not too cryptic. I wanted it to be substantial, but have some attitude. I wanted it to be confrontational, but not a slap in the face to anyone,..and what did I end up with:


Can you answer that one for me? We've borrowed almost 200 billion dollars to fight a totally unnecessary war in Iraq, but our kids' futures--besides being on loan because we had to borrow to fight the war--aren't worth investing in by way of their education.

There's never enough money for education. They put students in trailers because they can't afford the school we ought to build them. Their books are old because we can't afford new books. Teachers are under-paid, so the best ones tend to find careers that pay enough to actually live on.

But despite all that, somehow, some way we find money enough to send our boys and girls to the other end of the world to fight and die. And at very great expense. Methinks our priorities are screwed up. And methinks this education president...well, isn't one.

William Dowell on George Bush's Wahabbis

In today's TomDispatch William Dowell writes an excellent article on why the Ten Commandment cases at the Supreme Court are so dangerous. How so? They have the potential to blur previous distinctions regarding the separation of church and state.

The Tom Dispatch notes: "We're in a period, of course, when lines of every sort, involving civil rights, privacy, foreign and domestic spying, presidential power, Congressional rules, the checks-and-balances that once were such a proud part of our political system, and so many other matters are blurring radically."

Of further interest, to quote Mr. Dowell: "...let's at least remember that Christianity did not exist when the commandments were given. It might then seem more consistent to go with the Hebrew version rather than any modified Christian version adopted thousands of years after Moses lived. Since the Catholic Church predates the Protestant Reformation, it would again make more sense to go with the Catholic version than later revisions."

Between the nuking of debate in the House and Senate and the blurring of the lines between church and state, our country will become a shadow of its former self, as the right wing religious fantatics change more and more of the laws we hold dear. And you thought the Taliban were bad? Wait until the right wing agenda sneaks up on you before you even realize that you have lost your civil liberties.

SpongeBob Wipes Out the Competition!

See what that naughty sponge is up to now!

Mr. Bush, meet Mr. Bust

More on Social Security, from the Christian Science Monitor

Another report on why "private accounts" will do more harm than good to the younger generations. Reliance on the stock market is just not a good idea.

David Francis notes: "Social Security actuaries assume stocks will return an average real 6.5 percent over an individual's 45-year career in the years ahead, a fraction less than the historic record since 1802. A new survey of 10 Wall Street economists by the Wall Street Journal found a consensus of 4.81 percent. The three economists doubt even that."

Mr. Magill sees the plan for private accounts as "quite frightening" and "ill-advised," considering what happened to stock prices in the Great Depression. "It is a little akin to forgetting history," he says.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

As Long As You're Living in Seattle...

...well, it seems like Seattle, doesn't it? Yet another rainy day. So if you've run out of indoor things to do, here's an interesting one: instead of depending on corporate media to tell you everything you need to know, head here. It's called and the media section has a number of very interesting video clips.

Of particular interest is the Red State Road Trip, wherein a reporter drives 6000 miles through the states which voted for Bush and talks to various people. It's good, compelling television, and well worth your time.

In the mean time, I'm noting that the rain chance goes down to 20% on Tuesday, then falls from there. I'm hoping that this ends up a banner year for flowers, given that it's the moistest Texas winter in my memory!

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Peace March in Austin

I found this information on Michael Moore's website. Maybe we can get a group together to attend it?

Saturday, March 19th 2005 12:30 pm
Austin, TX USA

A Memorial procession through the entertainment districts will start at 1:30 the Federal building 9th and San Jacinto down 6th St to the City Hall where there will be a concert for peace at 2pm

11:30 Federal Building to the 2pm City Hall 900 Trinity Austin TX

mac mckaskle --

List of Great Sites and Sounds

I occasionally like to remind everyone that while this blog is chockfull of good information and links, there is a whole world of blogs out there that provide wonderfully investigative/analytical information that we should all take a look at. The top ones I know about and visit frequently are:

AmericaBlog--Great for Gannon/Guckert news

Atrios/Eschaton--One of the heavy hitters during the 2004 Election and now provides analysis and links on a variety of political and cultural subjects.

DailyKos--A huge supporter during the Dean Campaign and now keeps up with all the daily news, especially Congressional.

Crooks and Liars--Great for video and audio of interesting/fun happenings such as Bob Novak apologizing on CNN for misquoting Howard Dean.

Brilliant at Breakfast-- A fiery woman who speaks her mind and provides great links.

Nero Fiddled--A New Yorker who is VERY angry about this administration. He also provides great links.

Media Matters for America--This is where you go to see the outrageous lies the Right Wing media spouts off, and the folks at Media Matters debunk them by providing transcripts, video and audio that reveal the lies.

Have fun with these!

Bad Ending instead of Joyous Celebration

This story just makes me shake my head in frustration! I hope the Italian people can forgive us for this.

"From the hospital, Giuliana Sgrena told Rai News 24 by telephone that "we thought the danger was over after my rescue."

"And instead, suddenly there was this shooting. We were hit by a spray of fire," she told the television network. "I was talking to Nicola ... when he leaned over me, probably to defend me, and then he slumped over. That was a truly terrible thing."

Blinks, Burps, Bonehead...They're all the same to me

Good article about how George Bush's brain works.

"Bush has probably never read about Thomas Andrews, a "blink" thinker best known as the designer of the Titanic. Andrews went along on the maiden voyage of the great ship, knowing that it carried far too few lifeboats, but feeling secure because he supposed that the vessel was indestructible. Sheltered by his unique decision-making style, George Bush sleeps soundly, believing that because of NMD, and the other ill-considered policies of his administration, the United States is impregnable. Meanwhile, the good ship, America, steams unaware into the cold, iceberg-laden sea."

Friday, March 04, 2005

Dubya's a Dope when it comes to S.S.

Something smells bad in this room! Here's a great piece from the L.A. Times:

""I was watching the governors around the room," said Schweitzer, comparing the group to potential livestock buyers who assess the wares and express their intentions with head-nods or nose-crinkles.

"I was seeing more of this," he said, crinkling his nose as if detecting a foul odor, "than I was of this," he said, nodding his head. "I didn't see a lot of buyers in the room."

Nuking free speech

Excerpt from the Washington Post

By Robert Byrd
Friday, March 4, 2005; Page A21

A "nuclear option" is targeting the Senate. No, this isn't some terrorist plot. Rather, some in the Senate are considering dropping a legislative bomb that threatens the rights to dissent, to unlimited debate and to freedom of speech.

Sen. Byrd goes on to explain why the potential elimination of the right to filibuster in the Senate will forever hamper the right of the minority to speak, and will forever mute dissent and gag opposition voices. He notes that if Senators are denied their rights to free speech on judicial nominations, an attack on extended debate on other matters could not be far behind. "This would mean no leverage for the minority to effect compromise, and no bargaining power for individual senators as they strive to represent the people of their states."

How truly frightening this is. Free speech is already limited in Pres Bush' presence, and soon it may be limited in our legislature. Is this democracy in action? Not likely.

Republicans Demand Apology

On Tuesday, March 1st, Democratic Robert Byrd (West Virginia) Gave a speech to the Senate that the Republican senators believe called them Nazis. These senators want to take away the senate's right to filibuster so they can get Bush's nominees through without a fight. This is a free speech issue, another right the repugs want to crush.
Read the speech, read Senator Byrd's editorial in this morning's Washington Post, and then, please send a "good job" message to the Senator at his website. He deserves all the praise he can get for standing up for our rights.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

East Meets West; Both Win

The Kendall County Democrats were treated tonight to an outstanding talk from Sarwat Husain. Ms. Husain hails from Pakistan, by way of Eau Claire Wisconsin, and now San Antonio.
Ms. Husain with John Weir

She gave a lot of background on Islam, she elaborated on what Islam and Christianity has in common, and she answered quite a few questions.

I had to admire a Muslim who only begain wearing her hijab (the covering for her hair) after 9-11 to help build the confidence of her Islamic friends who were afraid to even be seen in public. Ms. Husain decided she had to take a stand, even if she were made to suffer the wrath of those who would be ignorant. I'm happy to see that some people still have the courage of their convictions. And I'm quite happy to be a part of a club which brings speakers like this to expand our horizons. Thanks Sarwat Husain, and thanks to the KCDC!

Dubya Does a Snubya to the World

A great article about George's "world" view and our constitution:

"At first glance, President Bush's tributes to freedom and democracy resemble Wilson's paeans to self-determination for nations around the globe. Under the Dubya doctrine, however, Bush believes that the United States can accomplish this feat on its own. He pursues Wilsonian ends via decidedly un-Wilsonian means.

Even more, he turns his back on the Founding Fathers themselves. Last time I checked, conservatives were supposed to preserve America's original principles and purposes. But the Dubya doctrine flouts them. A ''decent respect for the opinions of mankind"? That's, like, so 1776."

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

This Is The Hate Mongering We Must Diligently Fight!

This congressman says some pretty scary, vile things! I'm passing it along so that we come to know our enemy in order to combat this insidious method of silencing our voices!
"I say we tell those liberal, tree-hugging, Birkenstock-wearing, hippie, tie-dyed liberals to go make their movies and their music and whine somewhere else," Gibbons said to another burst of applause.

He said if they lived in Iraq or Afghanistan, "Ironically they would be put to death at the hands of Saddam Hussein or Osama Bin Laden."

Of course the real irony is that these hate mongers have made it virtually impossible for anyone to openly speak their minds in this country anymore. The death of free speech and dissension is nearly as bad as physical death. It certainly isn't freedom. I KNOW this isn't what our brave soldiers have fought and died for in the history of our country.

It's About Time!!

Well, thank goodness he's waking up from his long nap and telling it like it is!

From the New York Times:

"Though the Fed chairman has made similar pleas in the past, he spoke more urgently today and disagreed more adamantly with Republican lawmakers and President Bush who have steadfastly refused to put restrictions on new tax cuts."

Unfortunately, he's apparently not asking them to put the brakes on permanent tax cuts.

Boxer and Clinton in the Primaries?

This would be a wonderful scenario, don't you think?
Now, as for Condi...are these people nuts!!!!???

"Following Clinton in the poll was Rice, with 42 percent of the respondents saying she should run in 2008, including 30 percent of Democrats. She has gained new prominence as the nation's leading diplomat. Although only 49 percent of Republicans said the United States was ready for a female president, 58 percent said they would vote for Rice."

There's Something in the Air!

Rumors are starting to swirl that Air America Radio is finally coming to San Antonio! I can't wait to have that verified! For those of you who don't know about Air America Radio, it's a liberal radio network that has nearly 50 stations across the country. You can also listen to it on the Internet. If you're ever feeling alone or beaten down by those wacky conservatives we all know and love, listen to Air America--they will speak to the very core of your beliefs!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Potemkin World or the President in the Zone

Read TomDispatch - Potemkin World or the President in the Zone As most of us know, the President is insulated from the populace by his design, after all why would he want to be exposed to any views that differ from his own? It amused me to read (in this article) that Brussels was "hermetically sealed" and the streets denuded of human beings as the Prez rolled through the streets. The same occurred again and again as he rolled across Europe. Looked good for the sanitized news right? Brussels is a vibrant city full of people, shops, restaurants and centuries of history. In fact, when my husband and I visited in Sept 2004, there was a weekend celebration commemorating US help during WWI, complete with re-enactors and restored vehicles and more. So, what was Bush thinking? These people like us, but he had the city locked down tight instead. Evidently Bush could not possibly be exposed to even a small view of reality.
Ah well, there is a monument of sorts, a fountain really, that is another symbol of Brussels, the Manneken Pis....which is dressed in a different costume weekly. I only wonder what they dressed the Manneken Pis in for Bush's visit...the media never said. They should have put a cowboy hat on the Manneken Pis, symbolizing Bush's manners in Europe...
FYI: the Manneken Pis, is a statue of a little boy peeing, that is dressed in various costumes year round.

Love that Support for the Troops!

This horrible administration supports the war but not the troops. With President Bush, what's down is up, what's black is white, what's wrong is right! This is truly scandalous!

""I'm appalled that these men and women not only have had to face the recovery from their war wounds but are simultaneously forced to navigate a confusing and seemingly uncaring system of benefits," said Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.), chairman of the committee. He called the impact of the flawed system on troops "the equivalent of financial and medical 'friendly fire.' "

The Latest Show of Courage by the Swifties

The Swifties are coming after the old folks! Run away!

Click on picture to enlarge.

From the San Francisco Chronicle

We need to revamp our schools

Bill Gates has a great idea about redesigning our high schools so that everyone, no matter their zip code, has an equally good education. Today in Texas, we know the end result of the battle of the zip codes. What we do not have in Texas, and need to develop, is a state-wide feeling that all of us, ALL of us, have a stake in the education of our children. Everyone, property owners or not, should help pay for that education because if all of us were paying for it, we would more likely demand results. Texans need to wake up and revamp our funding policies and our schools in order to produce better results.