Saturday, April 14, 2007

Karl Rove Looses 4 Years of Email - And The Dog Ate His Homework!

Why am I not surprised when I hear that the White House says it can’t find the last four years of Karl Rove’s email? Of course they can’t find it, it’s full of incriminating evidence and it has conveniently been purged! How much more are we going to put up with? It’s time to give these criminals the boot.

Congress is going to continue the investigation into the firing of the US Attorneys and eventually they will turn up a whole bunch more wrongdoings by the Bush administration. These guys are the worst in history.

Kucinich And Me - Late Pic From Las Vegas

Just so my friends really believe me when I tell them I met Dennis Kucinich and his lovely wife, here is proof. Thanks to Jessie Garcia of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas for the photo! This was in Las Vegas at the Stonewall Training Sessions I attended last month.

Burbujas Resurfaces In Mexico City

Yesterday I was talking with an associate about my checkered past. When I spoke of the year I spent in Mexico working as a producer for Publicidad Metropolitana and Televisa, their ears perked up. They asked what programs I worked on and when I told them Burbujas, they smiled in recognition. I am always surprised when someone here knows about that program. Burbujas was the brain child of Sylvia Roche, a very talented and wise writer who used some wonderful characters to teach children about everything from geography to ecology.

I worked with Sylvia and the group who produced the show and also wrote music for the production. They had recorded two albums of music with Juan Garcia Esquivel, a man they called the Liberace of Mexico. The music was fun and the production values were pretty good. Sylvia asked me to write some songs for an upcoming show about the circus. I composed about 8 songs for her lyrics and recorded the tracks here in Dallas. Later, I went to Mexico where the performers on the show recorded the vocals. Two additional tracks were created by Esquivel to complete the album.

Since it was a work for hire, I was not credited with the composition, but as a producer. Esquivel was credited as author. I didn’t mind much since I did get paid and had so much fun doing the recording. The show was a hit and we even created a live version that toured Mexico in a tent for a while.

All this leads to my conversation. While we chatted my friend Googled the show’s title and came up with a surprise. It turns out that "Vamos al Circo" (Let’s Go to the Circus) was playing as a live show at the Sheraton Hotel in Mexico City! Amazing that a production I was part of almost 22 years ago is making a comeback as a nostalgia piece for families.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Iacocca Calls Bush Administration "Gang Of Clueless Bozos"

Lee Iacocca, former Chrysler CEO, has a lot to say about Bush in his new book. His words echo mine when he says, "where the hell is our outrage?" Truer words have rarely been spoken. Maybe some more conservative types will listen to Lee since he was once the head of a really big company, and that seems to be their real religion, Corporatology! Well, the former Pope of that religion has spoken and he gives the Bush administration an "F" for their entire run.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bomb Explodes In Iraqi Parliment - Surge Working?

It is a real pleasure to see President Bush’s "surge" working so well.. It has made it possible for American Senators to casually stroll through Baghdad’s marketplaces with only a 200 soldier escort and Kevlar body armor. What a change from what things were like before the war. As another example of how well it’s working , a bomb went off in the Iraqi Parliament building killing one lawmaker and injuring dozens. Another shining example of the success of Bush’s plan!

A bomb went off in Parliament! For God’s sake that’s in the middle of the alleged Green Zone and if we can’t keep that safe what the heck are we there for? Why could this happen? Well I am no defense analyst, but I do know human nature. The Iraqi security forces are corrupt. They take bribes and do their job only when American’s are watching them. Listening to a story on NPR from a soldier in Iraq working with these forces, he said that they did a passable job when prodded by the US observers, but as soon as those observers turned their backs, they did little if anything to keep the peace.

Time to pull out and let them settle this civil war themselves. Unfortunately, we will always be remembered for starting it. That will be Bush’s legacy. There is no way we can stop it, and to stay will only serve to inflame passions on both sides of the conflict and get many more people killed.

Kurt Vonnegut Dies At 84

The man whose books were always a source for me of endless moral and philosophical discussions died last night. Kurt Vonnegut, author of "Slaughterhouse Five" and most recently "Man Without A Country", was 84 years old. His books conveyed a comedic look at very serious questions and his wit was always tempered by a serious desire to make America a better place.

His interview on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is classic Vonnegut. He skewers Bush with a compliment, "He’s not the dumbest man in our government." It is a must see.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

George & Laura Divorce Saga Continued - Still Just A Rumor

It's the rumor that won't go away, George and Laura and the alleged divorce. I noticed a big surge of hits on my site all coming from Google and searching for the terms Bush, Laura, Divorce. These are from Europe so I guess the story that has been in the Globe Magazine for the past few weeks has hit European gossip rags as well.

Last rumor I heard was that Laura is staying at the Mayflower hotel rather than the White House. Something about George being mean and drunk all the time. With all the pressure on the White House right now that sounds plausible, but I have no confirmed sources on it, just the usual suspects. More later.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Texas Religious Expression Bill Filled With Loopholes

Whenever the Texas Legislature passes a bill with a name like the "Texas Religious Expression Bill" you can bet there is a subtext somewhere that will push a specific religion, namely Christianity. As a Christian you’d think I’d be happy about this, but for some reason I suspect the brand of Christianity they will push won’t make me happy.

This bill, backed by Republican lawmakers is supposed to make it clear what religious speech is allowed in Texas schools, thus preventing the alleged Secular War on Christmas and other travesties. I will be very interested the first time a student tries to express their belief in Islam, Buddhism or any other non-western religion. I suspect the freedoms allowed will also allow either other students to shout them down or worse.

Am I a skeptic about the things the Texas Legislature does? You’re darn tootin’ I am. I only wish Molley Ivins was still around to get her take on this one. The devil is in the details. When you read the bill carefully there is a provision for a Student Forum of authorized speakers top speak at school events, football games etc. These are designated as supposedly chosen by a neutral means. Think again, when is the last time a homecoming Queen or King was chosen by neutral means? They will be part of the same cliques that dominate and oppress less popular students and thus able to impose their religious stamp on the introductions of the events.

Same old thing, the majority "rules over" the minority. Gotta love Texas!

50 Years Ago - Dallas Digs Out Of Tornado Damage

Since I have already outed myself as a storm chaser, I though some people might be interested in this clip of a program produced back in 1957 by WFAA TV on the April 2 Dallas Tornado hat destroyed big parts of the city. I still remember it vividly as I watched it from our yard with my mother.

Link to the video is here.

Save The Texas State Railroad!

OK, I know most folks have no idea what a railroad is except that there are 4 of them on a Monopoly board, but they play a big part in every American's life. In the past they played an even bigger part. Before the dominance of air travel, going by rail was the standard. I have fond memories of TV spots in the 1950's and 60's for the Santa Fe Railroad Super Chief service to the west coast. "Santa Fe, All the way", sand the animated character of a native American who represented the railroads best known train.

Well, Texas is blessed with one of the remaining steam railroads in the country. Steam trains are truly dinosaurs but they are awesome beasts! The Texas State Railroad is really a rolling museum down in the Piney Woods of Palestine, Texas. This historic steam power railroad takes visitors through some of the most beautiful landscapes in East Texas and it is a treasure.

I understand in Texas anything over 30 years old is usually scheduled for demolition, but it's kind of nice to have a little history around. Especially if it is as rare and wonderful as the Texas State Railroad. Why the rant? Well the Texas Legislature is debating whether or not to continue funding this state park feature.

What's the deal? Well some in the legislature want to "privatize" the railroad, in other words pay a private company to run it instead of the state park folks. Does someone smell a payoff here? I do. They want to spend $12 million to hire a private company to run it and then later sell the equipment off to that company. Supporters of the railroad say the state can spend only $7.5 million and continue to run it under the state control.

If you want to keep this historic part of Texas history, write your state representative and tell him or her what you think. This little engine carries 65,000 tourists a year, so someone likes it and personally I would hate to see it go the way of the Brontosaurus.

Gonzales Gets Served - First Of Many Subpoenas

You've been served, Gonzo! House Judiciary Committee issues it's first subpoena to Attorney General Roberto Gonzales today. This is a first for them. House and Senate committees have previously authorized subpoenas in the U.S. attorney investigation but this is the first one they have actually issued.

Things must be getting a little tense around the White House today. It couldn't happen to more deserving people either!

Bush Spokesperson Keeps Lying Over And Over Again

Apparently, the Bush administration believes that when you are on the ropes, you just keep slugging with the same technique that got you in trouble. They would make pretty poor boxers just as they make a poor government.

Today in a news conference, Dana Perino, White House spokesperson, said that the escalation in Iraq is to keep the terrorists from finding safe haven and if we left they would find another country like Afghanistan. When pressed by Helen Thomas about how the administration knows this, she replied with the standard "rope-a-dope" of September 11. Thomas to her credit chimed in with the fact that September 11 had nothing to do with Iraq.

The Bush folks just can't give that up. Even though commissions and investigations and the top Bush intelligence people say there was no connection between Iraq and 9/11, Bush keeps repeating the lie. If you tell a lie enough times it becomes true? That must be their strategy, because if it isn't it just means that they are stupid, and I don't know which is scarier.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Storm Chasing In The Texas Panhandle

Well last week my partner and I went storm chasing on Thursday, March 28. We ended up in the Texas panhandle just a few miles from Palo Duro Canyon, and basically out in the middle of nowhere. Thanks to my partners forecasting skills, we were at the right spot at the right time and nature put on a great show. We say 4 tornadoes and a half dozen more wall clouds hat never quite reached critical mass.

The pictures below were taken just before sunset looking west toward Cap Rock Canyon. We couldn't get closer because there aren't any roads that went where we needed. He also got HD video of this storm and on the big screen it was stunning!

Hope you enjoy these shots, sorry it took so long to post them.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Bush Dodges Opening Day Pitch - Strikes Out Anyway

Funny how George W. Bush would never miss an opening day when he was part owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team, yet opening day for the Washington Nationals, and he declined to show and throw. His decision to decline the invitation to throw out the opening pitch of the season for America’s National Pastime says a lot about the man and his plummeting popularity.

Though the White House will not admit it, he fears hearing the boos that would have been inevitable had he shown up. Approval ratings in the 30’s and a gaggle of scandals hanging over the White House have sent Bush into the bunker. His recent Rose Garden press conference without microphones for the press to ask questions is a case in point. This is the sign that he will not listen to criticism and wants no questions asked. Like a fallen leader, holed up in a bunker, Bush and his battle worn staff are still living in the imaginary world they created. He and his hand picked "loyal Bushies" are living in denial. The truth is that his presidency has failed and he will probably be remembered as one of the worst in history. Hardly the stuff of home runs!