The Local Crank
Musings & Sardonic Commentary on Politics, Religion, Culture & Native American Issues. Bringing you the finest in radioactive screeds since 2002! "The Local Crank" newspaper column is distributed by Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.
- Name: The Local Crank
- Location: Cleburne, Texas, United States
Just a simple Cherokee trial lawyer, Barkman has been forcing his opinions on others in print since, for reasons that passeth understanding, he was an unsuccessful candidate for state representative in 2002. His philosophy: "If people had wanted me to be nice, they should've voted for me."
Monday, April 30, 2007
Sexual Assault and Indian Women
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Republicans Hate Democracy
And while we're at it, what's with Republicans and their pulling, cowardly, lilly-livered, yellow-bellied fear of democracy? Why is this sniveling gaggle of effete wimps so terrified that people might actually vote? Why would anyone who actually believes in deomcracy support anti-democratic abominations like HB626 and HB218?
Oh, that's right: because they are Republicans.
Conservative Hypocrisy Watch
What IS it with Republicans and hookers, anyway? I mean, are they trying to prove to us how devoted they really are to the free market?
Also, please note for the record that I refuse to take the low road and make the cheap, obvious joke of noting that at least Bill Clinton never had to pay for it.
Labels: Conservative Hypocrisy Watch
Friday, April 27, 2007
A slim (294 pages) but engrossing biography of the great Lakota war leader Tasunke Witko ("His Horse is Crazy"), Marshall's book is subtitled "A Lakota History," and indeed the book is written by a Lakota author from a uniquely Indian and Lakota perspective. By placing Crazy Horse's action firmly within the context of a Lakota culture being slowly transformed by contact with the Long Knives, Marshall is able to introduce readers to the man, not merely the legend. For example, I learned that "Crazy Horse" was a family name, belonging to his father (a well-respected medicine man who changed his name to "Worm," as a sign of humility) and his grandfather; and that Crazy Horse himself was a Contrary, or Thunder Dreamer, which explains much of his later life. Like the story of Tecumseh in A Sorrow in Our Heart (written by non-Indian Allan W. Eckert), Journey assumes as valid oral history traditions and takes as true the spiritual experiences of its subject (of course Tecumseh caused the New Madrid Earthquakes by stamping his foot on the ground; of course, Crazy Horse had a vision of his life and eventual death as a young man). The account of the Battle of the Greasy Grass may seem somewhat hard to recognize, until you realize it is being told from the perspective of the victorious Indian alliance, not George A. Custer or his hagiographers. Likewise, Marshall does not over-sentimentalize the Lakota, or red-wash the complicity of certain members of the tribe (particularly the Laramie Loafers) in bringing about their own defeat. He concludes, and rightly so, that the Lakota defeated themselves by surrendering to the materialism of white civilization. Overall, Journey (which includes personal anecdotes from the author's life) has the feel of a story the elders might tell over a campfire. Very satisfying.
Labels: Book Reviews
Another Astonishing Revelation...
Right Wing Amnesia...
Thursday, April 26, 2007
...but also read the comments, and see the vile racism and anti-Indian bigotry drip off the pages of this supposedly progressive blog. Then head over to Rachel's Tavern and read comment 4, which points out something neither the original article nor the NPR story mentioned-namely that in 86% of reported cases of sexual assault against Indian women, THE ATTACKERS WERE NON-INDIAN MEN. So why do you suppose this particular facet of the story was overlooked?
Hat tip to The Native Blog for putting me on to this story.
From Our "Irony Is Dead" Department...
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
...a bad idea whose time has come. At least until it's declared unconstitutional. I have no problem with getting tough on child sex predators; in fact, as a father, I'm all for it. I was for civil commitment for offenders early on. This bill, however, won't help. Most child victims are victimized by relatives or other people they know. Family members will be much LESS likely to turn a relative in if they know he is going to get a minimum 25 year stretch, or the needle. And for the rarer stranger-abduction cases, this bill makes it more likely than the predators will kill their victims, rather than risk the death penalty. This bill is nothing but a campaign sound-bite for David Dewhurst when he runs for governor in 2010; just another example of politicians mucking with the law for their own self-aggrandizement, and making the most vulnerable among us less safe.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Nattering Nabobs Ride Again
Reclaiming the Land
Fake Indian Joins Slander of VT Victims
David Yeagley, the Right Wing's pet "Indian," who for years has fraudulently claimed to be Comanche, has predictably added his weaselly voice to the chorus of marginalized lunatics blaiming the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings for their own deaths. Normally, I would never waste band-width on this reprehensible toad, but I'm afraid some people might believe his wannabe shtick. Yeagley is not Comanche, he speaks for no one but himself, and he is beneath contempt.
What If Bill Clinton...
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Toll Booth Ahead (Beads & Mirrors Not Accepted)
The Seneca Nation of New York, in response to the state's demand that they collect and fork over cigarette taxes, are now prepared to slap a toll-booth on the New York Thruway as it passes across tribal land. Wampum hit this issue first, via Indianz.com. I think this is an excellent political move on the part of Seneca President Maurice John, Sr. and it makes me wonder just what the agreements were for all those toll-roads that crisscross Oklahoma...
The rabble rousers — the Rev. Al Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson — have roused the rabble, and the roar has silenced the voice and killed the career of someone who said something of which they disapprove. Albeit what the man said was stupid, since it was said by a white man. If a black man had said it, it would have evoked a good laugh, but Sharpton and Jackson are determined to play the race cards. This is what keeps them in power. Now the Local Crank has mouthed off. He’s as empty headed as those other two. For a few lousy words, Don Ismus’ ranch for kids with cancer, operated at no cost to them, may have to close. The money his program raised for charity is no longer available. You idiots have your sympathies in the wrong place. Any harm done by Don Ismus is infinitesimal compared to that done by Sharpton and Jackson.Things said in normal speech do no harm. It is the Hitler-type haranguing of those two that cause problems. Any normal person would have said, “consider the source and forget it.”
Labels: Fan Mail
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Today In History...
Labels: Today in History
Friday, April 20, 2007
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
We are all Hokies now. I’m always hesitant to write about breaking news stories like the Virgina Tech shootings. Between the time I type this on Wednesday night and the time you read it on Sunday morning, we’ll all likely know much more about the shootings, and Seung-Hui Cho, than we know now. There are plenty of valid questions to be asked: did the University act quickly enough to protect students after the first two victims were killed? Did the court system that found Cho mentally ill fail in its duty to protect society? Should the University have done more after receiving numerous signs that Cho was seriously disturbed; his stalking of female students, violent written fantasies and so forth? Is there anything to be learned from Cho’s bizarre, rambling, profanity-laced video tirade? Are Virginia’s notoriously lax gun laws to blame? Or should students and faculty be allowed to carry guns on campus?
Naturally, any time a tragedy like this occurs, politicians rush to spin it for their own agenda. President Bush and his identical twin brother Senator John McCain, for example, made sure their very first press releases on the killings clearly indicated their complete obeisance to the National Rifle Association. Some on the Left rushed to call for more gun control, even though it’s not clear any type of gun control short of total confiscation could have prevented this tragedy. The usual suspects on the Right call for nearly the exact opposite, arming students and teachers, again in the absence of any evidence this would have helped. It should be noted, though, that a similar attack at the Appalachian School of Law in 2002 (ironically also in Virginia and also involving an immigrant) was foiled by two students (one of them an off-duty police officer) using their private weapons. I am no particular fan of gun control for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that people of my ancestry have directly experienced what happens to unarmed people when the Federal government decides they are inconvenient or in the way of “progress.” However, I don’t agree with this “mutual assured destruction” theory; that if everyone has a gun, crime will be deterred. Texas’ nearly non-existent gun control laws and high violent crime rate alone put the lie to that argument. What truly disgusts me, though, is the growing chorus of Right-Wing commentators that have shifted from blaming gun control laws for Virginia Tech, to actually blaming the victims. John Derbyshire, a repulsive troglodyte who excretes “columns” for the National Review Online, was the first to call VT students cowards for not counting the shots (as though the average college student can identify handguns by report alone and has memorized the number of shots per clip for all major brands of hand weapons) and then wrestling Cho to the ground while he was re-loading. This cretin’s last contribution to the national dialogue was calling for the court-martial of British marines and sailors for failing to fight to the death for his amusement against Iranian pirates. Surely, I thought, this is just one lone idiot. No one else could possibly be not only this stupid, but this catastrophically insensitive? I was wrong. Neal Boortz, a talk-radio blowhole on the Cox Network, blasted the students as examples of the “wussification of America.” Michelle Malkin, frequently inflicted upon the nation via FOX News and CNN, hopped on board the slimy bandwagon, adding an extra spin in blaming liberal educators for destroying the “culture of self defense.” Mark Steyn, another National Review contributor, defended his fellow troll Derbyshire and blamed the students for “corrosive passivity” and believing that “the state” would be there to be protect them. This kind of vile disgusting reprehensible verbal pornography is a sad testament to the continuing degeneration of the conservative movement in America. This is what conservatism is all about now? Chickenhawks who have never risked even a scrapped knee railing against students who dove for cover when bullets were flying all around them? Derbyshire, Boortz, Malkin and Steyn have surrendered whatever passed for a conscience. They are truly and utterly beneath contempt in every way. Forget liberals who are outraged by this kind of excrement; where are the conservatives? The real conservatives? Where are the voices on the Right to stand up on their hind legs and tell idiots like these the same thing I said to fatuous Hollywood liberal dilettantes: SHUT UP! If you won’t tell them to shut up for the sake of basic human compassion, which the Right Wing Noise Machine abandoned long ago, then tell them to shut up for the sake of your own political self-preservation. If these disgusting howler monkeys are the public face of conservatism, then the Right is looking at a long, lonely time wandering in the electoral wilderness. In facing another preening, self-absorbed megalomaniac, Joseph McCarthy, attorney Robert Welch famously asked, “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?” Apparently not.
UPDATE: An alert reader pointed out that in my last column I mistakenly identified the Rutgers University Women’s Basketball Team as the National Champions. In fact, that honor goes to the University of Tennessee Lady Vols, who beat the Cinderella story Rutgers team 59-46. Add the Lady Vols to the list of outstanding young athletes whose moment in the sun was stolen by a loud-mouthed idiot on the radio.
Goldwaterloo, Part 2
- In a "Profiles in Courage" moment, YouTube has deleted McCain's tasteful little ditty, though they promise to restore it.
- McCain, meanwhile, is seeming more and more Bush-like, as he gets peeved that people don't like his singing.
- This comes right on the heels of McCain's disastrous, ludicrous visit to Baghdad's al-Potemkin marketplace that has apparently actually gotten some people killed.
- I think he's toast.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
An Excellent If Profoundly Sad Point...
Good on You!
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Gonzales v. Carhart
Almost drowned out in the coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings comes news that the Supreme Court has upheld a Congressional ban ostensibly on a specific late-term abortion procedure. I freely confess that I haven't studied the decision much at all, but Alas, A Blog has a good round-up of opinion from the progressive blogosphere.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
The Spectre of the Gun
A mentally disturbed young man has killed dozens of people in a senseless and horrific act of violence. Unfortunately, if you can count on anything when tragedies like this occur, it's the reprehensible and shameless pandering of our political class:
- President Bush can't even wait for all the wounded to be evacuated before publicly reaffirming his complete and utter obeisance to the NRA's agenda of surface-to-air missiles for all.
- Same with John McCain.
- John Derbyshire, a repulsive troglodyte who excretes "columns" for NRO, calls the students cowards for not fighting back. You may recall this feckless thug's last contribution to the national dialogue: calling for execution of British marines and sailors for not fighting to the death against Iranian pirates. The link here is to Wonkette, since NRO might accidentally grow a conscience and pull this verbal pornography.
- Another semi-moronic Right-Wing shill insists on blaming the killings on Pakistani terrorists, despite absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support the claim, beyond her astonishing inability to distinguish between South Koreans and Pakistanis.
- Other assorted idiots lament, again on the basis of absolutely nothing but their own gun-fetishist fantasies, that the tragedy would have been averted if not for pernicious liberal gun control laws that prevented the faculty and student body from being strapped while in class.
- Some voices on the Left call for more gun-control legislation, in the absence of any evidence that any gun control short of total confiscation would have had any effect. In fairness, though, at least one Voice on the Left draws a line between this horror and not more gun control, but the lack of mental health resources.
- The foreign press never misses an opportunity to sniff with disdain at the "violent Americans."
UPDATE: From Kos. Great minds think alike, sadly.
UPDATE 2: Neal Boortz, another despicable hate-talk troglodyte, hops aboard "blame the victims" bandwagon. And Mark Steyn. Good Lord, but these people are just beneath contempt!
Monday, April 16, 2007
More Native Protests in Canada
Members of the The Pimicikamak Cree First Nation have occupied a hydroelectric generating plant in northern Manitoba Province to call attention to the government's failure to offer adequate compensation for flooding tribal land. You can read an interview with the band's chief, John Miswagon, which goes into more detail at the Natural Resources Defense Council. Acimowin, a blog for news about the Pimicikamak Cree Nation, can be found here.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Speaker answers Barkman comments
Your paper recently published a column by Patrick Barkman titled "How not to fire US attorneys." The column's author falsely claimed that I "recently killed a provision to create a standing special prosecutor to investigate TYC (Texas Youth Commission) abuses." Three weeks ago, House Bill 472, a bill that would expand the jurisdiction of the special prosecution unit to include the prosecution of crimes committed in TYC facilities, was discovered to contain a technical error while being debated on the House floor. The bill was sent back to the House Corrections Committee, where is was amended and voted out again by the committee last week. it will likely be debated on the floor sometime later this month. Everyone realizes this is an important tool in addressing systemic problems at the TYC; however, it is equally important to insure that the legislation is drafted in a way that will provide the best outcome when prosecuting crimes that occur within the TYC. I anticipate House Bill 472 to pass the House. In light of the recent revelations of the abhorrent behavior at the Texas Youth Commission, it is my hope that this legislation will go toward helping to fix this broken agency.
Speaker of the Texas House
UPDATE: Normally, I don't respond to fan mail, but this release from the Speaker's press-droid is so outrageously false that the very stones themselves cry out for an answer. During the debate in question, House Minority Leader Jim Dunnam offered an amendment to HB 472 that would've created a special prosecutor, not merely codified the ability of district and county attorneys to request one, as in the original language of the bill. The amendment was adopted 75-63 on a bipartisan vote. Rep. Larry Phillips (R-Sherman) then raised a technical objection to the analysis of the bill and one paragraph that accidentally dropped a word or two. The Speaker could have overruled this minor and irrelevant point, but chose instead to sustain it. Thus, a bill that would've gone into effect back in late March still hasn't passed. This delay (and if the bill dies before the session ends, the death of the bill) can be laid, like a flaming bag of dog crap, at the feet of Speaker Tom Craddick.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Nanai Delasi Gatlitela
Friday, April 13, 2007
Signs & Portents
Column for 15 April, 2007
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Don Imus is an empty-headed moron. By the time you read this, he may also be an unemployed empty-headed moron. At around the same time Imus was making his idiotic comments about the national champion Rutgers ladies’ basketball team, Houston Mayor Pro-Tem Michael Berry, another talk-radio blowhard, was opining that “we” shouldn’t be “apologizing” or “giving welfare” and “casinos” to Native Americans because, after all, “200 years ago they were whipped in a war.” At around the same time, I was listening to a fairly prominent local talk-radio station as they discussed the Shaquanda Cotton story, the young black girl who spent a year locked up by the Texas Youth Commission for allegedly pushing a teacher’s aide while a young white girl in the same court received probation for committing arson. White caller after white caller flooded the airwaves to complain that blacks received “special treatment,” to insist that even though Shaquanda was an excellent student with no prior offenses, she must have done “something.” One caller even insisted that Paris, Texas, was run by black activists and “street gangs.” What does all this tell us? Well, first, and obviously, despite insincere, self-serving pseudo-apologetic spin by Imus and Mayor Berry, their comments are protected by the First Amendment, just like the First Amendment protects my right to say that Imus is the last one to be talking about hair, given that his usually makes him look like a prematurely discharged mental patient living under a bridge, when he isn’t playing dress-up with a cowboy hat. Likewise, the First Amendment protects my right to observe that Mayor Berry’s shellacked Mr. Spock ‘do makes him look almost exactly like a Ken doll, only with less intelligence in the eyes. Second, it should be painfully obvious that Imus and Berry, as well as other blow-holes like Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin, are doing precisely what they are overpaid to do: generate controversy. They say outrageous, offensive, stupid things because that gets their demographic (white men between the ages of 25 and 35) to buy the books they continually excrete and tune into shows they appear on and buy the products that are advertised on those shows. Calm, reasoned discussions about the relative merits of competing health-care proposals don’t excite this demographic; demanding the execution of liberals or calling college athletes prostitues does. So what does this say about that demographic? Mostly it says they are so desperately, pathologically insecure they need constant reassurance that white people are still number one and that minorities don’t deserve and haven’t earned anything they get. The comments about Shaquanda Cotton and Imus’ smearing of the beautiful and gracious young ladies of Rutgers (with their average GPA of 3.0, science prodigy, valedictorian and musician) remind me of a wry observation by Malcom X: “What do you call a black man with a Phd? N****r.” In other words, no matter what people of color might achieve, to racists they will always be less than human. It is to this lowest common denominator, the dregs of society, the perpetually emotionally-stunted knuckle-draggers who giggle at racist jokes, that professional hate-talk panders. So incensed are they at any threat, real or perceived, to white privilege, they flock to anyone who will tell them that blacks are crooks and welfare queens, Mexicans are simultaneously lazy and here to steal “our” jobs, and Indians are all drunks waiting for government hand-outs. The bile spewed by Imus, Limbaugh and the others reinforces the comforting coccoon of ignorance and racist self-pity that this group lives in. However, unlike prior generations of bigots, the “angry white men” of today lack even the courage of their twisted convictions. Many, if not most, will vehemently deny having a racist bone in their bodies. And they would never consider actually expressing what they really think about people of color, unless its from the cowardly duck blind of the internet, talk radio call-ins, or driving by and screaming “N****r!” out the window of a fast-moving vehicle. Can anything be done to redeem this “generation of vipers”? Maybe. Much as I hate to agree with a huckster and con-man like Al Sharpton, he is correct that boycotting companies who subsidize hate-talk may eventually, though the miracle of the free market, drive these well-paid human megaphones off the air, thus depriving Generation Duh of some of their ammunition. Unfortunately, it is likely that some of these clods will have children, who will likely be contaminated by their parents’ massive racial inferiority complex. The solution to that is not speech codes or similar idiocy, but simply exposure. Children are not inherently racist; they will play together nicely with anyone until told they should hate their neighbor. If we can prevent the wholesale dimemberment of the public school system, then kids will spend enough time together to discover that their similarities are greater than their differences. It’s already happening; the current crop of teenagers strikes me as more open-minded and less bigoted than my own, just as my generation seemed to my parents. Mixed-race dating is a common practice these days, and it was unheard of when I was in school. Of course, I have never been discriminated against because of my race, at least as far as I know, because I “look white.” No one would even know my ancestry without asking. No one has wondered if I got into college, grad school or law school because of a quota system, or assumed that I can only afford my truck and my house due to casino money. Even though I am not white, I am thus the unwitting and unwilling beneficiary of white privilege. Unlike one of my best friends from high school (an Army veteran, Phd and college professor), I will never have to explain to my children that certain people will always judge them based solely on the color of their skin. Maybe someday, if we stop tolerating the use of racist pandering to sell ad space, no parent will have to have that talk with their kids.
Rick Brother is Watching You!
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Chad Smith and...Abramoff?!?!
This guy keeps showing up like a bad penny. OKG News is reporting that Abramoff donated $1,500 to Chad Smith's 2002 re-election campaign. Then, in 2003, CNE (Cherokee Nation Enterprises) paid Abramoff $120,000, though the article doesn't say what the payments were for. Jon Velie, an attorney for the Freedmen, is claiming this as proof that Abramoff was involved in the March 3 election that kicked the Freedmen out of the tribe, though that seems like a bit of a stretch to me. Frankly, it's bad enough that Smith would accept money from Abramoff (and I noticed he doesn't say he donated the money to charity after Abramoff was convicted) or that CNE would fall for this huckster's routine.
Also blogged at Wampum.
Stacy Leeds Coming to Dallas
Judge Stacy Leeds, candidate for Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, will be meeting with Metroplex-Area Cherokee voters at 10:30 AM on Saturday, April 14, at the Dallas County Democratic Party Headquarters, located in Fair Park at 4209 Parry Avenue. I'll be there, too, so come on down for coffee and donuts and meet the next Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation!
Our Long National Nightmare Is Over...
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Stupid White Man of the Week: Michael Berry
Dear Mayor Berry:
You are cordially invited to kiss my rosy Cherokee ass.
Patrick G. Barkman
P.S. If it wasn't for smallpox, your ancestors would have been swimming back to England. So "whip" that.
Labels: Stupid White Man of the Week
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Democracy On the March
A distinguished ex-Marine Constitutional law professor with a conservative streak is (at the very least) singled out for extra security at the airport because (so he was told) he criticized Dubya in a speech.
Recently released evidence shows that the FBI was lying when it denied detaining peace activists in a parking garage back in 2002 and interrogating them about their political and religious beliefs.
I'm sorry; what exactly are we fighting for again? Why do the terrorists hate us?
Monday, April 09, 2007
Today In History...
...Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to Ulysses S. Grant at Appamattox Court House, Virginia (1865). It is worth reflecting on this day just how right Bismarck was when he remarked "God has a special providence for fools, drunks and the United States of America." Had Robert E. Lee listened to his advisors and ordered his army to disperse and commence guerilla warfare, America in the 19th Century (which was bad enough) might have painfully resembled Iraq in the 21st, a theory expanded upon at length by Jay Winik in his excellent book, "April 1865: the Month that Saved America." I wouldn't wish for that reality, of course, but it does lead me inevitably to wonder what would have happened to the tribes of the West if the entire US Army had been pinned down for decades fighting Confederate insurgents.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Saturday, April 07, 2007
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”
Okay, let’s talk about the Presidential campaign. Let’s see, John McCain (campaign slogan: “Just like Bush, only more!”) strolls through the al-Potemkin marketplace in Baghdad, accompanied only by a bullet-proof vest, 100 troops, and five combat helicopters. See? Just like shopping at Wal-Mart back home! The Religious Right is gravitating to Rudy Giuliani, even though he still supports publicly-funded abortions, instead of Mitt Romney, who opposes them (at least this week), solely due to their pathological paranoia and hatred of Mormons. Barack Obama raises enormous wads of cash, solidifying his position as the Not-Hillary. Hmm, on second thought, let’s not go there; it’s a silly place. We’ll check back in a couple of months, when it’ll be even sillier. Instead, let’s look at the Texas Legislature. Warning: the Texas Legislature may contain scenes of graphic stupidity; parental discretion is advised. Hold your breath, watch where you step, and be sure to not wear open-toed shoes. The session is not over yet (unfortunately), but already Rep. Robert Talton is the early front-runner for the coveted Arlene Wohlgemuth Prize (aka, the “Arly”) as the legislator who best exemplifies Wohlgemuth’s legacy of arrogance, ignorance and viciousness. So far, this self-important supercillious twit has made a Quixotic run for Speaker, used parliamentary trickery to kill an effort to provide discounted electricity to the poor (after all, those lazy children sweltering in July heat should get off their diapered behinds and get to work!), and continued his jihad to prevent homosexuals from serving as foster parents (because people will be beating down the doors to serve as foster parents once they know state bureacrats will be questioning them about their sex lives). There are, of course, other contestants still in the running. Rep. Warren Chisum distributed a flyer blaming evolution and Copernican Theory on a secret Jewish conspiracy, and now seeks to force schools to teach Bible classes, whether anyone wants them or not. Rep. Debbie Riddle, previously famous for describing public education as both communist and satanic, has decided the pledge to the Texas flag needs to be rewritten to include the phrase “under God,” since, you know, the Legislature that approved the original pledge in 1933 was clearly dominated by communists and devil-worshippers. Senator and talk-radio bloviator Dan Patrick proposed paying women $500 not to have abortions, providing this session’s round of national humiliation for Texas. You don’t get a dime if you decide to keep the baby, incidentally, once again proving that the Right Wing only carries about babies from conception to birth. In a similar vein, Rep. Dan Gattis used Rep. Linda Harper Brown to try to kick 16,000 legal immigrant children off the CHIPs rolls. Actually, Gattis should probably be disqualified due to all the childish whining and simpering he did when he got caught; if there’s one thing we can say about Arlene Wohlgemuth, she didn’t whine. Senator John Carona is fighting hard to pave over pretty much the entire State of Texas and turn it into a toll road, which just goes to prove that there is one other person besides alleged Governor Rick Perry who still supports the Pave Texas Corridor. Ona lighter note, Rep. Jodie Laubenberg completely lost it in the debate over restoring CHIP funding and started screaming at Rep. Rafael Anchia, which is always fun to watch in a slow-motion-train-wreck sort of way. Remember, folks, these are the grown-ups who supposedly run our State. Again, this may be a disqualifier; while Rep. Laubenberg’s intent (tossing children out into the snow) was certainly Wohlgemuthian, Ms. Wohlgemuth herself never indulged in such puerile public displays of anger, instead maintaining a steely resolve regardless of any pressure she might have felt when, for example, casting the only vote against providing death benefits to the widows and orphans of police officers killed in the line of duty. I actually considered nominating Cong. Joe Barton for his brilliant self-parody in making himself look like an even bigger nitwit than usual while attempting unsucessfully to attack Al Gore at the hearings on global warming. In fact, Barton has gone so far over-the-top that he’s well on his way to becoming the William Shatner of Congress; but sadly we must limit entrants to those who have only inflicted themselves upon the Texas Legislature. Stay tuned to this space for more on the “Arly” Awards (recognizing the famous, infamous and the just plain dumb), as the clown car that is the Texas Legislature eventually screeches to a halt.
Friday, April 06, 2007
Slap In the Face
Alberto Gonzales offers $7 billion to settle the Cobell trust litigation, which is in reality worth northwards of $200 billion. I'm surprised he didn't offer to include an assortment of beads, metal hatchets and mirrors.
And, just to prove that Democrats can be idiots, too, Cong. Norm Dicks thinks $7 billion is too much!
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Nancy Pelosi in the Middle East Edition.
Labels: Conservative Hypocrisy Watch
Today in History...
...William Henry Harrison, who gained political fame on the strength of his war leadership against Tecumseh, dies one month into his term as President, giving rise to the urban myth that Tecumseh or his brother Tenskwatawa had placed a curse on the presidency (1841).
...Faisal II becomes King of Iraq at age 3 (1939). He will be brutally murdered in a coup in 1958.
...Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, now home to the National Civil Rights Museum (1968).
...the World Trade Center is officially dedicated in New York City (1973).
...Microsoft is founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in Albuquerque, New Mexico (1975).
Labels: Today in History
Monday, April 02, 2007
A Few More Views on the Freedmen Controversy
From the Lenape (Delaware) perspective, and from a Constitutional law perspective that indicates tribal sovereignty may be at risk if tribal identity is equated exclusively with race. And from a Cherokee citizen upset that other people view this transparently racist farce as, well, racist. And from Chief Smith, who is upset that media coverage of the fraudulent petition failed to tow the line of propaganda from his office and pro-Amendment forces. And from some of the disenfranchised, who dissect the Administration's pro-amendment propaganda. And finally, much more ominously, the BIA is now "reviewing" the matter...
No, This Is Not An April Fools' Joke
The US Supreme Court has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency must actually, you know, protect the environment. Which includes doing something about global warming. I think the significance of this decision is that it paves the way for other states besides Massachusetts to sue the Federal government to force action on pressing environmental issues. Don't hold your breath waiting for Texas, however.